Monday, January 26, 2009

Is your light shining?

There is a little detective in all of us. We are all looking for hints of identity and hidden secrets. How many times do you find yourself constructing a profile of someone's life based on their clothing, accessories, body language, facial appearance, and mannerisms.

As Christ's followers, you should exhibit your commitment to God and His Kingdom. Most people do not see you during your private time of prayer, reading the Bible, and resisting personal temptation. They see you from the street, across the fence, hall, office, and pews.

How do people recognize you as God's ambassador? It is by your smile, joy, compassion in the face of another's misfortune, friendliness, simple lifestyle, random acts of kindness, tears, generosity, and public expressions of your private faith.

This word is starved for love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faithfulness, simplicity, honesty, and compassion. Christians specialize in these things. It is not enough just to talk about the Lord, to serve Him in secret. We have to display the lifestyle in the midst of our corrupt culture.

What in you life offer solid evidence that I am a follower of Christ?

What in my life contradict the claim that I am a follower of Christ?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year

Every year something happens in most people's lives. You may have done this from time to time. We make new years resolutions. From becoming more fit, to serving in the community, to sticking to spiritual disciplines, and many others.

Our commitments are high and we believe we cannot be swayed from our resolutions. Then the second day or maybe we make it to the second week and we begin to wonder is it really worth it? Why are we doing this?

In the Bible Jesus speaks to us who make commitments and that begins to lose its apeal. He demands commitment and speaks clearly about what it will take to follow him. But he does not ask us to do anything he would not do himself, and demonstrates his own commitment to people by reaching out to the lowest in society.

To follow him, sooner or later we must submit everything we want or desire to his desires for us. We must stop serving ourselves and start serving him. If that means selling things, stopping a certain behavior, doing something we do not want to do, we must do it. We must stop we want or desire and begin seeking what Jesus wants. That is why Jesus says, "If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it" because only by giving it up to Jesus can you gain eternal life.

Is it all worth it you may ask. If you have doubt, Jesus makes a good case for doing so: "How do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose or forfeit your own soul in the process?" (Luke 9:25). Sure there is a price to be paid for following Jesus, but those who pay it also receive an eternal benefit.