The Christian Road Map

My 12 year old son asked for an example of “Perfect Christian.”  I mentioned some people in our family that operate in the fruits of the spirit according to Galatians 5:22, 23.  I told him that no one is perfect, but that is why God forgives us of our sins so that we can be blameless in front of him.  At church the next day, the Lord began to give me scriptures to share with him so that he can have a road map to perfection in Jesus Christ.

  1.  Romans 10:9 This is the scripture that is the blueprint that everyone must follow in order to receive the gift of salvation.  This scripture tells you that you must believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and God sent Christ to die and rose from the dead for our sins.
  2. John 14:26 This scripture is Jesus promising the helper which is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will reveal to you the things of God that you will need to know as you walk throughout your life.  The Holy Spirit can only bring to remembrance the things of God.  This will help you focus on the things of God when you want to do things that are against what God’s instructions are for your life.
  3. Proverbs 3:5, 6 In this passage of scripture the approach to dealing with every decision in your life is laid out in simplicity.  The scripture is telling you to trust God over your own thoughts and understanding of life.  As a young person you are constantly being given instructions and you are starting to make your own decisions.  The best decision that you can make as a child of God is to trust in his wisdom (intelligence/instructions within the Bible) over your own.
  4. John 15:5 In school you learn what a simile is, which is making a comparison using the words “like” or “as.”  The simile in this scripture compares the relationship that you should have with God as a believer is the same as a tree and its branches.  God is the vine and we as believers are the branches.  If you keep this relationship with God you will live a life like the branch that bears fruit when it is connected to a strong tree.
  5. Romans 12:1, 2 We live in a world that is driven by desires to be popular, in style, and accepted.  The culture is featured in today’s music, movies, sports, and video games and it is trying to shape how you see yourself and the world around you.  This scripture instructs you to present your total self to Jesus Christ for his purpose for your life.  The fight for your mind is a battle that will take place throughout your life.  Your behaviors begin with thoughts.  You have to keep your mind focused on Christ at all times.

There are countless scriptures that focus on the behaviors that we should exhibit as Christians.  Too many times Christianity is presented to young people as a bunch of rules with a promise of eternal life at the end.  Many times young people look for a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” constantly determining whether something is wrong or right in their own eyes.  If you take the time to read and understand these scriptures you will truly begin to create a relationship with Jesus Christ that will keep you for the rest of your life.

©timothydavidjones   @tdj6899

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The Words I Never Said

“Its so loud inside my head with words I should’ve said.” Lupe Fiasco

Music has a way of pulling the triggers of your mind and heart.  Once the trigger is pulled what comes out is what was in your mind and heart before the song began. So did the music influence your thoughts and feelings or did it just wake the sleeping giants inside of you?  This song pulled some triggers inside my head and heart and these are the words I never said:

1. I am a Christian who follows Jesus Christ and believes the bible is the true and living word of God.  The actions of the collective church have diluted the perception and reverence that the world has towards God and Christ. This makes it  more of a necessity to distinguish myself from a “Sunday Saint” or someone who believes in God but not the bible.  I am an imperfect man seeking perfection through God’s Holy Spirit residing inside of me.

2. Attempting to use Hip-Hop music and culture to teach or do anything else doesn’t make you Hip-Hop or a part of the culture.  Hip-Hop music and culture is being accepted in circles of academia because of the catastrophic failure of traditional education to remain relevant and engaging to its core audience within inner cities across America and beyond.  I’m not questioning the sincerity of an individual educator or writer, but the collective establishment’s embracing the culture and deeming their own colleagues the experts.  Ask yourself if Hip-Hop was no longer as popular and another music genre drove popular culture would you still be looking to use and or participate with Hip-Hop?

3. There must be a space created for men to feel and heal. Society has raised us to embrace the ideology that states that anger is the only acceptable emotion to express without a questioning of your manhood.  Think of the adjective we place in front of love, I got mad love for you. Think of the violent slang terms that describe making love or having sex? It has gotten so bad amongst young men that they will start a statement with “no homo” to say or do anything that expresses an emotion.  We need the space and methodology to heal in order to be real with ourselves and others.

4. The love, commitment, and passion that I have for my people should not be viewed as racist, prejudice, or radical.  Multi-Culturalism and diversity doesn’t always mean equality because all cultures or parties are not coming to the table of brotherhood as equal partners. The causes for the collective can not overshadow my commitment to the causes that disproportionately impact my people of color.

5. Hip-Hop is constantly being analyzed but rarely evaluated.  There was a value within Hip-Hop that is not as needed today or is it?  In the beginning as Hip-Hop came on the scene, it was responsible for speaking for a community that hadn’t had the opportunity to speak and be heard to society as a whole.  We need to create a system to evaluate today’s Hip-Hop and stop merely debating various analysis of the content.  What is the value of the content of many of today’s most popular Hip-Hop songs is the true question.

 THINK To Hear Is New Knowledge! Can You Hear the Words that I Write?

When the Son teaches the Father about faith in the Father

“Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” – Mark 10:15

Isaiah Jeremiah Ezra Jones is 12 years old and he is my youngest of two children and my only son.  My son was spending the last days of his summer vacation school shopping and visiting family in New York City.  His trip was cut short by Hurricane Irene, so he had to come back home to Maryland on Saturday morning instead of later that evening.  I was glad when Isaiah and my Mother-in-law arrived home safely and was grateful to find him in a good mood even though the trip was cut short.

My wife and I had prepared for the pending storm by getting some supplies including batteries for the boom box and some DVDs to play in the computer once the lights went out from the wind and rain.  We had everything in place and the last item on our agenda was to ensure that Isaiah and my Mother-in-law made it home safely.  My daughter was in New York with Isaiah and she took the train home to Lawrenceville New Jersey.  By Saturday afternoon everyone was in place and I was thankful and we just chilled and braced for whatever Hurricane Irene was going to bring to our area.  In essence, we were simply enjoying watching TV, surfing the Internet, and playing video games while we waited for the power to go out, which to me was an inevitable side affect of Hurricane Irene coming up the East Coast.

I prayed and I asked the Lord to keep our power on because it is such a drag when the power goes out in our neighborhood.  I have a great time with my family, but it is uncomfortable without A/C, we have an electric stove, and I don’t have a landline phone so for some reason when the power is out my cell reception is horrible.  If I had a say in the matter, I was prepared to lose cable service, but I was hoping to not lose power.  I prayed for my family and friends from Virginia to New York and asked for the Lord to provide his protection throughout the storm.   In retrospect my prayer to the Lord asking him to keep our power throughout the storm was one that merely resulted in me having hope.  The prayer was almost cliché because I didn’t have faith that my power would stay on, I hoped that it would stay on, but the word of God says that without faith it is impossible to please God.

Isaiah told me with the most sincere level of confidence that he could muster saying “Daddy the power is not going to go out because I PRAYED AND ASKED GOD.”  I listened to him but I didn’t really hear him.  I said that it was good that he prayed and that we would see what happens as the day progressed.  Isaiah reiterated his statement saying that the power would not go out throughout the storm because he prayed.  In the silence that ended our discussion there seemed to be a slight division between the unwavering faith of my son’s prayer and the meager hope in my request in the form of a prayer.

As the day progressed, I watched the never-ending weather reports that were predicting the range of time where we would get hit the hardest by the storm.  I was relieved to a point that the storm had seemed to slow down so that the range of time that we would get hit the hardest would actually be the late evening into the night.  I was hopeful that if the power went out it could possibly be restored by the morning so we would just sleep through the night while the power was out.  I told this to Isaiah to provide a sense of comfort to him about the timing of the expected power outages happening while we would be heading to bed so that his activities in the house for the day wouldn’t be impaired.  What I received from Isaiah was a confused look as to say why I am still talking to him about something that is not going to happen.  “Daddy the power is not going to go out,” Isaiah stated in response to my attempt to continue to comfort him.

Isaiah and I have been driving when a storm hit with such velocity that we witnessed the sky blacken, the rain pour, and trees fall knocking down power lines on the street that we were driving on at the time the storm hit.  I was driving trying not show any emotion because Isaiah was in the back seat crying and the only thing I told him was that if you are ever in a situation where you can only say one word, you call out the name of “JESUS” as if your life depended upon the Lord hearing your cry.  I continued to drive up the road as the water was rushing along side of my car as the secret service positioned outside to run along side a moving motorcade.  I kept one hand on the steering wheel and reached my other hand back to hold Isaiah’s hand as he cried out “JESUS.”  We parked the car and ran into the house drenched with water and he ran into his mother’s arms and just wept because he was both thankful and afraid.

This incident happened last summer so it was on my mind to try to assure Isaiah as much as possible that everything would be fine even if the power were to go out.  I know now that I was trying to provide comfort to him that he had already received by his faith in his heavenly father.  My heart was in the right place but my mind wasn’t because I am supposed to have the mind of God, which would have let me know that Isaiah’s faith would be rewarded because my son had diligently sought him with his prayer regarding the storm.

Well the night progressed and the storm came.  It is one thing for the Lord to move and control the wind and the rain the way he spoke to calm the sea when he was in the boat and the disciples were afraid.  But to hear the wind and see the rains come throughout the night and the power not go out is an example of how the Lord is with you in the midst of the storm.  There were brief moments where there was a quick flicker but the lights never went out.  The Lord heard Isaiah’s prayer and was moved by his faith.  Isaiah unknowingly prayed and the entire community was blessed because the power remained on throughout our entire neighborhood.

Isaiah is 12 years old and he is at the age where he will begin to decide who he really is and he will have to decide whether he will identify himself in the image that world has prepared for him or the image of the Lord who created him.  Jesus began to teach in the temple as a 12 year old.  David defeated Goliath as a youth much to his dismay and surprise.  The point that I’m making is that this is the season for my son to step into what the Lord has for him by Isaiah choosing Jesus and the word of God as his roadmap to navigate through the maze known as adolescence.  I humbly receive the lesson in faith that my son taught me in the midst of the storm.  I must grow to have child like faith in the Lord so that the Lord will order my steps so that I can be a greater example of the Lord for Isaiah that I have been in the past.