Put the Bible into Practice

It’s important to not just read the Bible. We must put it into practice in our daily lives.

In Philippians 4:9, the apostle Paul urges us “whatever you have learned or receive or heard from me, or seen in me, put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Here is an example. A few verses beforehand, in Philippians 4:6, Paul teaches us “Do not be anxious about anything…”. In this chapter he’s also talking about living with the joys Christ in our lives and being content with the ups and downs of life.

Do you want to remain anxious or stressed out about things or do you want the peace of God to be with you?

Like Paul, I urge you to exchange the anxiety and discontented feelings of this life with the peace that comes from God alone.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Do You Know Jesus?

do-you-know-himDo you really know Jesus? Let’s see about that…

1 John 2:3-6 NIV

“We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.”
[Read more…]

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Humility and Lone-Ranger Christians

Young woman reading bible

I’m reading Romans and am continually blown away by it. What an amazing book. I’ve read Romans before, but something is clearer this time. Its teachings are profound and challenging, and so relevant to all believers.

 Romans 12:3-8 is important as we consider how Christians should engage in fellowship with one another and serve one another.

 Let’s hear from Romans 12:3-8,

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Verse 3:

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought” is about being humble, but it’s not just about being humble. In context with the rest of the passage, this verse is saying: look you are a part of a bigger whole called the body of Christ.

Together, when we are doing the work of our Lord to love and serve one another, we can do amazing things.

We are all gifted to support the body in our own unique ways. We should not think of ourselves as any better than another because alone we are worthless. Together, when we are doing the work of our Lord to love and serve one another, we can do amazing things.

Verse 5 is equally profound:

so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”. We BELONG to one another. This suggests an interdependent relationship where we are to both give and receive from the body of Christ; one another.

Some people think it’s ok to be a lone-ranger Christian; a Christian who avoids fellowship with other believers or avoids going to church and being a part of a local body of believers. Many reasons are expressed, but the reality is that the body of Christ is weaker when Christians live in isolation.

Lone-Ranger Christian

The lone-ranger Christian is weaker because he/she doesn’t have the support of fellow believers, and the body of Christ is weaker because we can’t receive what you have to offer. Lone-ranger Christians don’t serve the body, and also prevent fellow believers the opportunity to serve them.

The rest of the passage is simple. Use your gifts to serve the body. Go to church (and fellowship with other believers) not solely based on what you receive, but for what you are uniquely gifted to give. If you are an encourager, and you don’t encourage the body, then there is a disease within the church. If you are a teacher and you don’t teach, there is a disease within the church.

The cure for the disease is to engage in fellowship and service within a local body of believers (aka “the church”). Pour out your life in humble, loving service to one another.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

The Bible IS Inerrant and Other Thoughts About the Bible

Recently this site published an article by Daniel Scholl where he said he “does not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible.”  To say that readers reacted to this article would be an understatement.  Many had strong reactions and voiced their views either as public comments on this site or as direct e-mails to the ministry.  The overwhelming majority of views expressed were not in support of Daniel’s position.
[Read more…]

About Larry Walker

Larry Walker loves God and loves people. He has a heart for teaching people how to follow Jesus Christ in all aspects of life. He has worked for years in a recovery ministry called Celebrate Recovery, and also counsels many Pastors throughout the country. Larry answers questions and provides practical application of biblical principles in everyday life. If you've got a question....ask Larry!

To Begin Reading the Bible, Start With a Good Plan

Reading the Bible

So youve decided to read the Bible. Perhaps you are new to Christianity or are interested in why this book holds such power for so many. Or maybe you have been on your journey for quite some time but have been unsure and uncertain about how to start reading this sometimes enigmatic tome. Regardless of your reason you have taken this first step only to find that step one leads to many paths. So lets talk about how to read the Bible.
[Read more…]

About Daniel Scholl

Daniel Scholl is a member of the United Methodist Church and the Church Universal. He attended Perkins School of Theology while contemplating a career in ministry. He tries to constantly follow God’s two greatest commandments: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.

An Inerrant Bible – Truth or Fiction?

Editors Note: Biblical inerrancy is an important topic. We’ve asked a few people to write on the topic (one supporting inerrancy and one rejecting inerrancy). This article is NOT a position statement on behalf of Changing the Face of Christianity. It is intended to stir your thoughts and engage you in discussion on this incredibly important topic. Read the PRO-Inerrancy article here, and please share your comments on whether you agree or disagree and why.

I hope everyone is having a blessed week and will encounter God in new and exciting ways in the days to come.

The Inerrancy of the Bible

In next week’s article we will begin to discuss how the Bible is put together and what the different translations mean. But before we even get into those basic items there is one thing I think we should discuss: The Inerrancy of the Bible.

To some this may be an unfamiliar word. To many this is a touchy subject. First, let’s discuss what the word means. To believe in the inerrancy of the Bible is to believe that the Bible is perfect and contains no errors. Now the touchy issue: Whether or not you believe this can really affect your theology. Many feel that the Bible is perfectly written as dictated by God. [Read more…]

About Daniel Scholl

Daniel Scholl is a member of the United Methodist Church and the Church Universal. He attended Perkins School of Theology while contemplating a career in ministry. He tries to constantly follow God’s two greatest commandments: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.

The Bible Can Be Intimidating

The Bible, for many, stands as the cornerstone of their faith, be they Christian or Jewish. I have led Bible studies at my church, taken several hours of Bible study in seminary and read the Bible, yet not as often as I should.

Through all this interaction with the Bible, several things have jumped out at me. One in particular is the fact that the Bible can be very intimidating. New and old Christians alike can be intimidated by this collection of books for several reasons: [Read more…]

About Daniel Scholl

Daniel Scholl is a member of the United Methodist Church and the Church Universal. He attended Perkins School of Theology while contemplating a career in ministry. He tries to constantly follow God’s two greatest commandments: Love God and Love Your Neighbor.

Psalms Teach Us How To Pray

The Psalms can teach us how to pray.  I started re-reading Psalms this week and was blown away by King David, the author of many of the Psalms in the Bible’s Old Testament.

As an example, let’s look at Psalm 6:6-8. “I am exhausted as I grown; all night long I drench my bed in tears; my tears saturate the cushion beneath me. My eyes grow dim from suffering; they grow weak because of all my enemies. Turn back from me, all you who behave wickedly, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping!”

What struck me was how anguished David was and how he expressed that in prayer to God. David didn’t write polite, safe prayers. He poured out his heart, good and bad, to God.

David also expressed his desperate need for God and his total reliance on Him and his expectation that his prayers would be heard.

So, we can learn a lot from David through the Psalms on how to pray. It’s not a formula…it’s just authentic. Just talk with God. Share your thoughts, your pains, your frustrations, your excitement, and your hopes. And if that’s too formulaic, just cry out to God in whatever way makes sense to you. And know that God DOES hear you.

So, thanks King David for teaching us how to pray in a vulnerable, transparent way.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

What is the Faith of a Mustard Seed?

Luke 17:5-6
What IS the faith of a mustard seed. I always thought this meant having only a tiny faith. e.g if you had even just a little itty-bitty bit of true faith, you could do x. But reading it this time, I’m seeing it differently.

Put  yourself in the position of BEING a mustard seed. What sort of faith must you have in order to simply survive and live?

You must have faith that you will be blown in the wind to a beneficial spot, that you won’t be eaten by the birds or bugs, that you will settle into a cozy spot in the ground, and receive rain from the heavens (not too much to be drowned, not too little to die, but just the right amount), and that you would be nurtured every day until you grow into a mature mustard tree, surviving all of the storms, wind, rain, hail, snow, and heat.

Isn’t that true faith? Trusting in God’s provision. Not wanting excess. Simply asking God for the basic needs of life, and expecting Him to take care of you, through His grace, love, and mercy.

Lord help us to have the faith of a mustard seed, whether that be a big faith or even just a little. Help us to HAVE faith in You!

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Go beyond WWJD – What Would Jesus Do?

Article re-printed with permission from Changing the Face of Christianity.

You’ve heard the phrase. You may have even seen it on a billboard: WWJD – “What Would Jesus Do”.

It’s a great way of saying, “I don’t know what I should do in this situation…but no matter, I should do what Jesus would do…so WWJD.”

So, we see a car stranded. Or we see a person in need. Or we have a conflict with a friend or family member. And we ask WWJD.

It’s great advice. Jesus is our role model…and it IS HE that we should emulate.

How many of us acknowledge what Jesus would do…but then don’t do it? It’s a BIG reason why non-Christians look at Christians and label us hypocrites.

We must not SAY one thing (talk the talk) and then NOT do it (not walking the walk).

So, I propose a NEW catch phrase: WIDWJWD – “Will I Do What Jesus Would Do?”

1 John 3:18 says “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

To be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, we must take action. Until we do this consistently, outsiders will continue to look at us as all talk, and no action.

So in the coming weeks, start asking yourself: WIDWJWD! And let me know how it works out.

To learn more about how you can LIVE your faith and walk the walk, visit Changing the Face of Christianity.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Love Others by Looking Them in the Eye

Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt like Mr. Cellophane from the musical Chicago? I have felt this way more often than I care to admit. In other cultures, it might be the norm, but in America, not looking someone in the eye sends a message: ”You aren’t very important to me”. Forget about trying to remember someone’s name; the eyes come first.

God commands us to love one another (1 John 3:23). Love can be communicated in many different ways… by listening, by helping, through words of encouragement and hope, and through acts of selfless service. But love always starts with ”hello”. When you first meet someone, do you give them undivided attention, or are you looking for the next person to meet?

I can count on one hand the times in my life when I have witnessed someone giving consistent focused attention to a group of new people; treating each person as uniquely important. How about you?

We meet new people at the grocery store, at the pharmacy, standing in line for tickets to a show, waiting for a table at a restaurant, at a power-lunch or networking event, and even at church. How do you make people feel when you first meet them? My suggestion is to first make them feel important to you with your eyes. There are other suggestions, but this is a good first step.

In my church, there is a small time set aside at the beginning of service to ”go shake some hands”. This is where I have most often felt invisible to those new people I’m meeting. For some visualization, imagine you are in a dense fog and all you see coming at you is a hand. So, you start to extend your hand to meet theirs. Now, if you are like me, the next thing you do is look up and see whose hand it is.

This is the moment of truth. Will the person be looking at you as they shake your hand, or will they be looking left, right, or past you for the next hand? The goal is not to ”shake as many hands in the next 30 seconds as possible” and the winner gets a prize. It’s about connecting briefly with another human being.

I’m calling you to be the type of person who looks the other person in the eye. When they look up, they should see you looking at them and only them. While you say hello, continue to look at them. In that brief moment, make them feel important with your eyes.

Jesus Christ was quoted as saying ”If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20) The practical application today is this: How can you love others if you aren’t even willing to give them your brief undivided attention? If it’s tough to do this in church with fellow believers, how are you possibly going to make non-believers feel important when you meet them?

When it comes to evangelism and connecting with non-believers, I won’t suggest I have it all figured out. But I do know this: true evangelism starts with a loving relationship where the other person feels as important to you as they are to our heavenly Father. The first and possibly only chance you will get to develop such a relationship depends on your eyes. Where are they focused?

My plea is that you let the whole world turn into a thick fog where the only thing you see is the other person’s eyes. In that moment, choose to love them as our Father has commanded, through focused attention. Who knows? The next time you meet them they might actually remember your name and you might remember theirs.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Servant Leadership – Modeled by Jesus Christ

Philippians 2:7 (NIV) 
…but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness”

This verse frames servant leadership perfectly. It’s a model we can follow at work, at home, and in ministry.

A true leader is not the one calling the shots, making the demands, and extracting sacrifices from others…all so the LEADER can benefit.

A true leader is the servant who thinks of others first, encourages, motivates, inspires, and helps people achieve great results…for THEIR benefit.

Jesus Christ was GOD in the flesh. Who else would be justified in coming to earth and expecting to be served? But what did Jesus do? He came to serve…not to be served. He humbled himself and became like a slave.

So, whether you a leading a business, a ministry, or your family unit… Lead like Jesus Christ. Give up, sacrifice, and serve humbly…so that others may rise up, grow, and benefit.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Joseph’s Journey – Leadership Lessons

I recently read the story again about Joseph (Genesis 37-47), and how he grew from an immature teen into the leader that was handed the keys of authority in Egypt and who saved the entire Israelite population from starvation during a seven year famine. You are surely familiar with Joseph (the coat of many colors, dream interpreter, thrown into a well by his brothers, sold into slavery, etc…)

What can we learn about Godly leadership through the life story of Joseph?

  1. Leaders are developed…not born. As a teen, he created division in his family with his over confidence and untactful attitude. He didn’t have natural abilities.
  2. Developing as a leader takes time. His journey started at the age of 17. He was 30 before he was given a true leadership position. It was another 14 years before he had truly arrived as a leader.
  3. Even during difficult trials, he never cursed God. He remained faithful and allowed God to use him. His character and integrity were never sacrificed.
  4. He didn’t take revenge when his position would have allowed him to do so. Instead he forgave his brothers, and gave Glory to God for His hand in his life. He used his leadership position to serve, not to be served.

There are many more lessons to be learned from this story, but here are a few thoughts to make this personal.

God’s timing is long term…not short term. Are you asking God to do something in your life NOW!? What if God has a bigger long term plan for your life. It’s better to be in GOD’s will, than attempt to get God in line with YOUR will.

Do you sometimes feel like you just aren’t as effective or influencial as you want to be? Do you sometimes feel like your gifts and abilities are just not being used to their fullest? Remember that leadership takes time and is developed daily. Look at your daily habits and start taking intentional daily steps at growing in a particular area. Be open to new opportunities (big or small), and seek out opportunities to serve.

Who knows, over time, God might just use you for GREAT things you never saw coming.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

Seek First His Kingdom (Matthew 6:33)

Why is it so hard to put God first? Is it just pure selfishness? Is it forgetfulness? Does it just boil down to the fact of our sinful nature? Honestly, I believe it’s all of the above.

When I have a decision to make, such as something I want to buy, or maybe changing careers, or maybe choosing between working and spending time with family…it always seems to be difficult. Selfishly, I find that I want to buy something…well just because “I” want it. Or I’m thinking about what career would be best for “ME”. Or I know that my family is very forgiving and maybe they won’t mind me putting in another 5 hours of work this weekend.

Forgetfully, I sometimes just don’t think to ask God what He thinks. And sometimes, I don’t ask because I already know the answer and I don’t want to admit it; the 50 inch plasma flat screen just says “buy me…you deserve it”…or something like that.

God says in His word that if we put Him first: His will, His desires, His purposes for our life… He will bless us abundantly. Read Matthew 6:25-33, with special emphasis on verse 33. The passage is specifically about worrying about tomorrow and the food you will eat and the clothes you will wear… but the principle is the same. Instead of thinking about ourselves and what WE want and what WE need… leave that up to God to provide.

The more I remember verse 33: “Seek first His kingdom, and all these things will be given to you as well”, the more peace comes over me. Instead of worrying and trying to focus on myself, I just need to stay focused on God and what He wants for my life. God will take care of the rest.

Make this a focus in the coming week and see if it provides you with a greater level of peace…and let me know how it goes.

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White

1 John 1:1-4

1 John 1:1-4 (NIV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.
2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
4 We write this to make our joy complete.

Let us not forget that John the Apostle, actually SAW, SPOKE WITH, AND TOUCHED JESUS. Some people falsely claim that the writers of the Bible never actually saw or spoke with Jesus. Non-believers would like to believe that was true. However, you and I know differently. We know the truth.

In the above passage, when John says “the life appeared” he is referring to Jesus Christ. Isn’t it powerful to have a first hand account of the teachings of Jesus…an eye witness to his ministry in this world?

So what do we do with this information? How are we to respond? My answer is “with confidence and grace”. When confronted or challenged by a non-believer…speak the truth. The Bible is the truth.

My second answer is…”by changing your life”. Think about it. If you truly believed that what the Bible teaches is 100% true…how would you think and how would you treat others? Would you start forgiving others (quickly)…as the Bible commands? Would you LOVE others as John suggests? Would you be slow to become angry as instructed in James 1:19?

It is my prayer that we all LIVE a life inspired by the truth of God’s word.

(for more information on 1 John, check out our 5 week, 1 John bible study.)

About Brad White

R. Brad White is the Founder and President of Changing the Face of Christianity Inc. Brad is a former atheist and became an "on fire for God" Christian in 2005. In 2008, Brad became incredibly burdened by what he perceived as a Christian faith far off course, and Christians far from living the teachings of Jesus Christ. In 2010, Brad submitted to the calling to reverse these negative Christian stereotypes, by starting "Changing the Face of Christianity" (a 501c3 Texas non-profit corporation). Read more about R. Brad White