Good afternoon all-
I have an important question to ask, do you follow Christ because you love him or do you follow Him because you fear Him? I know that these questions are packed with a punch but I think it's important for us to look at our reasoning for following Him. Do we really know Him like we should? Is it more important for us to look good rather than build a relationship with Him? Do we seek Him because our heart wants to know Him deeper or are we floating along hoping to catch a glimpse of Him? We probably do some or all but in the end we should examine our intent.
When I first found Christ my intent was to know Him because He saved me. As I grew in my walk, I became more judgmental and full of the law. I walked and talked like I knew more than anyone else. As a matter of fact, I came home for break and tried to save my entire family from Hell. I was an evangelist in my own mind. In some ways, I even became a walking, talking Pharisee.
I read my Bible, quit reading anything that was not biblical and stopped everything else. My life went from being that of a teenager to a full blown adult, with not a lot of grey area. I only looked at things black and white and the more I looked that way the better I felt about my actions and those that I surrounded myself with. I judged. It's really unfortunate when I look back because maybe some would have followed Christ if I hadn't been such a stickler on my way being the only way.
Now there are some things that are black and white. How we get saved, who Jesus is and what God did for the sinner, there is no moving that ground. However, what about grace, mercy and love? For those first months I forgot about the latter and only worked on those things I believed were true. I became the driving force behind the next revival at least in my own mind. I'm sure you can imagine what happened. Not a lot of anything. People quit talking to me and I quit even liking who I had become. I always loved the underdog and worked hard at loving people. That changed when I began to believe I was better than everyone else. Looking back I'm so ashamed but with that, I also found what it meant to be a daughter of Christ. Maybe I had to go through my period of throwing the first stone to see the stone that was wedged in my eye.
I have many faults and through the years I have been tested, refined and continue to be worked on. I try not to judge because I don't know what tomorrow will bring and I have learned that by loving people I can show Christ so much better than casting that first stone. We are to love the sinner and hate the sin. Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten that I was a sinner and that only by His grace did I get saved. Humbling and very true.
The workers are few. We can see that for ourselves. Persecution can happen and bad things do happen to good people but the message of the cross exists and is real. It can stand on its own or we can be used to help spread it. His goal for us is not to be pious. He would rather have us be His friend, learn about who He is and what matters to Him than be educated fools. I know there are a lot of those kinds of people that are out there. They are the ones that believe that brilliance equals knowing more than the next person. I believe that by investing in Jesus we will know more than the most intelligent scholar. Why? Because you only know what He wants you to know anyway so why not be humble and spread His word the right way: by loving Him, knowing Him and proclaiming Him.
If you find yourself tired of serving Him, maybe you should look at your motives. God gives you the energy you need to do His will. You may be doing your will over His. Think about that for a moment, can we as Christians do something for ourselves rather than Him? Absolutely! It's all in the motive behind the service. Today, I go to church, talk to people and spread the word through this blog not because I'm looking for esteem. I'm really just wanting everyone to know how Jesus has impacted my life. He is my friend, my husband and my love. He is all things to me. Me knowing what He represents is a bonus. My goal for my life is to show love, mercy and kindness because when I least deserved it, He gave it to me anyway.
I hope today finds you will. I have to go back to work but I hope you think about your motives and your relationship with Him. He knows you, don't you want to know Him?
Acts 15:9 NIV
He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
Colossians 2:6-7 NIV
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
I have to go back to work so I will leave the prayer to you. I think you will know what needs to be said. Have a wonderful and beautiful day and in all things thank Jesus from delivering you from sin.