Friday, October 14, 2011

Theology Reflection Paper

Reflection Paper THEO 104

Amanda Gunter

Today the world is filled with injustice, fear, and temptation. Living
a Christian life is not just about acknowledging and inviting Christ into your
life as your Savior. It is a continual quest for a deepening of your relationship with Jesus, a quest for the grace of the Holy Spirit. Your journey begins on the day you accept the Lord into your heart. You must always strive to learn more, pray more, study His word more and
love Him more. There are many areas we can discuss from this point, but for now there are three pertinent points I want to highlight. They are as followed:

I. Why are personal testimonies important in sharing the
II. Does it matter how Christians live their lives?
III. What can your local church do to better communicate God’s love to your community?
My prayer is that by the end of this paper you and I both will have more understanding of how to share the gospel with others through our personal testimonies, what it means to actively
live as a Christian, and how Christians’ involvement in their church can help share God’s love in their community.

Personal Testimonies:

We are commanded to witness to others (Mark 16:15 NIV). We are commissioned to witness to others (2 Cor. 5:19-20), and we should be concerned about the souls of those who are lost (Roman 9:3). One way we share His love is through our own personal testimony. Just as unique as we are in God’s eyes; so are our stories. Each story/experience is different, personal, unique, and effective in sharing God’s mission and love with others. In Acts 22, 23, and 26 Paul gives us insight on how to share your personal story. He states to briefly explain your life “before” you received Christ, “how” you came to Christ, and your life “after” you became a follower of Christ. Since Paul (and God since the Bible was written with dual authorship) provided us with insight on sharing your personal testimony it must be important. Many people can argue theology and opinions all day long, however, they can not argue your personal experiences. As you begin to share your testimony, you open up a vulnerable moment which allows a person to feel what you feel/felt, and it allows them to trust you and gains their respect. You are really providing
a path for the Holy Spirit to work on their hearts with an “in the moment” example of your life and today’s times. A relationship begins to build on both ends as you allow them into a
part of your life that holds meaning and understanding and direction to you. As you roll through the emotions of your story, they are able to relate and understand with you. They join in and share and become curious. The Holy Spirit starts tugging on their hearts as they struggle and begin to feel conviction, emotions, and relate and understand through your personal testimony.
You can not do the work of the Holy Spirit. You can only share your story and connect
with them in ways that they have never connected before. Be honest, practical, and ready to answer questions. Be patient and understandingand know that your story is unique and special just as you are and as their story is and will be. Then always be in continuous prayer.

Ready Set Go!

Does it really matter how a Christian lives their lives? The answer is “YES!” Christians should also put God on display. If your boss sent you to cover his spot at a very important meeting, would you go in there without researching and understanding all the discussion points? Would you wear flip-flops and ripped jeans and no shirt to the meeting? Would you go into the meeting in place of your boss not prepared for questions, or even anything less than a positive representation of your company? I would like to think you are shaking your
head no, and wondering why someone would even think to do these things. Well, we as Christian, tend to walk a little sloppy, be a little unprepared, and at times we tend to be bad examples for others in our representation of Christ. We should accurately and effectively live a life that is pleasing to the one who saved/redeemed us. For our Savior paid a debt that we ourselves in our time on earth could ever come close to repaying. So we are to be obedient,
love our Father (in action, in thought, in words etc.), love our neighbor, seek
out lost souls, and be an active follower of Christ. We are His examples. When He says “Go,” we go. You never know who is watching you. So, it is very important to live actively and
obediently so that others will want to follow. We have chosen to do His work, even when it is hard and how we live is what others first see. We can not share the gospel yet live a life that is unpleasing to God and an inadequate display to others. So, we need to make sure we
are being positive representatives for Christ and His kingdom. “He paid it all, and all to Him I owe.” Live with this thought in mind and your actions will reflect.

The Church

So, how does all this play out in the church and your local community? Well, when we are actively living our lives as followers of Christ, and we gather as a community under the Lord’s house (with the same desires and goals) His name and Word is raised and unstoppable. Everything I have talked about is important and plays a role or has an effect on your local church. The Bible states, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them,” (Matthew 18:20) and “if our God is with us then who could ever stop us.” (Chris Tomlin) We must help our local church practice, teach, display and defend the Word of God everyday for it to have a positive influence in our community. We need to be actively participating in the
church and its mission instead of criticizing and judging the church for not
doing the job that we ourselves are not doing. What we do individually reflects and impacts what we do and how we represent God when we gather as a church. God has redeemed us and wants to enroll us in His mission in our individual lives and through our Church and flood that love into our community. Strong individuals lead to strong a church which leads to amazing changes in your community and around the world and they are unstoppable. By setting an example
with the foundations scripture has laid out for us and being actively involved
in the mission and change of your local church will bring about less confusion
and misunderstanding and amazing results pouring out of you and your church
family. As important as it is for an individual to be an example it is the same with the church. A church that leads by poor judgment or falls short to earthly sin has little power and will not prevail in the mission of the Church and of God. The church must be Christ-centered and not self-centered. They should preach the word of God, and set an example for those to
follow in. They should be an exciting and relevant church for un-churched people.
The church has a huge role in your community, and you should be a part of it.
They are your family, and you should desire to help it grow and bring
comfort for those searching for answers, hurting, or in need of a little extra love.


So, everything we do and say should be a reflection of Christ. We should only seek to please Him not the world. How we live is a direct reflection of who we are and what we believe. You can say many good things, but if your actions don’t reflect then it is meaningless and confusing to others who are trying to believe and understand. It’s not about you. God loves us all, and
wants us all on His mission not sitting back on the sidelines watching. Get in His race, and run it proud, run it humble, and help others along the way.

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