For June 28, 2020
I beg to differ with those who characterize the Christian faith as merely a “pie-in-the-sky” religion. To them, all we have is eternal bliss in Heaven and nothing to look forward to on earth. This is not so. The Christian faith produces a life of abundance, which begins the moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, and it continues for eternity.
Our peace of mind resulting from our peace with God alone, makes our Christian life more precious and fulfilling than anything on earth combined, and it certainly makes life worth living “in real-time” today. In addition, we who embrace the Christian journey have considerable treasures to gain in this life and the next,
The incentive to win is in the glorious perspective we have because we are “looking unto Jesus.” “Looking away from all else, looking at that which fills the heart.” We are going to run, not because of the prize at the end and not because so many illustrious saints have run the course in the past and have been gloriously crowned, but because the vision of Jesus thrills the soul.1
Moreover, as we continue to surrender to Jesus Christ, we experience many, many exciting and fulfilling moments that enhance our knowledge and strengthen our faith in the Lord. This is just as He promises in John 10:7-10 (NLT),
I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Daily we experience how the Lord loves us, protects us, and provides us with everything we need. Over time, we grow confident that He directs our steps, and that He will never leave or forsake us. These experiences help to solidify our faith in God and in His Word so that we grow to rely on His eternal promises and providence instead of our subjective thoughts and feelings.
Some believe that a tragic past can heighten one’s Christian experience and/or validate one’s Christian witness. This could be based on a flawed notion that we are more effective in serving after having lived tragic lives of sin before coming to Christ. Although it is always proper to celebrate our new life in Christ, yet rating one’s overall effectiveness is up to God.
All of us can benefit from some form of support and accountability to help guard against moral and spiritual failure. However, those who have experienced years of compulsive and addictive behavior should complete some form of clinical treatment in conjunction with their Christian discipleship program before serving in Christian leadership. Such precautions will help us do “no harm” (i.e., not jeopardize the spiritual, physical, emotional, or psychological well-being) to those whom we serve.
Three critical indicators, our hearts, our motives, and God’s perfect will, are essential to our long-term spiritual growth and fulfillment. These indicators adhere to His perspective and purpose, for He knows whether our hearts and motives are vile or pure, and His will shall be revealed accordingly.
The Bible presents a pattern of fruitful relationships with the Lord that begin early and last through life. We who follow this pattern by coming to Christ early, learning God’s Word, attending church, submitting to spiritually mature mentors and pastors in discipleship, and using our gifts in Christian service are living demonstrations of His amazing miraculous power.
We grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18) to share God’s Word properly, so that He can attract, convict, convince, and inspire others unto right thinking and living through us. In this way, we can present His righteousness, grace, and love through our worship, service, and fellowship.
What a Wonderful Savior!