How often does that which is urgent delay or replace that which is necessary? Have you ever received a phone call that caused you to drop everything that you were doing, no matter how important, and place your complete attention on something entirely different? Often times, this urgent matter causes us to delay or even replace doing something that is necessary. As an example, my wife and I were both technicians in our respective fields of employment, she working in a hospital and I for a newspaper. Although sleep is necessary in order to function efficiently in any kind of employment, I cannot count the number of times that she or I were called in the middle of the night to address an urgent or emergency situation that either delayed getting any sleep that night or eliminating sleep altogether. I once worked on an emergency breakdown that lasted more than 33 consecutive hours. Upon reaching 33 straight hours I had to stop and rest as I could no longer function efficiently.
The same logic applies to our spiritual life, our relationship with God. In order to grow spiritually, to grow in friendship with God, it is necessary to spend time daily reading God‘s word the Bible and also spend some time alone with him in prayer. But how much time do we actually spend with God? How often do we rush through reading God‘s word just to get it done or even put it off because there was something else that we want to do? How often do we pray repeating something that was memorized rather than actually talking to God from our hearts? Like any friend, it is necessary to spend quality time with God if we desire our friendship with him to grow stronger. Jesus is the best friend that I have ever had, but often I must ask myself if I am truly a best friend to him.
So, what truly is Christianity? It is not a religion or set of rules but rather it is a relationship. To be a Christian, one must be a follower of a person named Jesus, but not just any Jesus. It is to be a follower of the one who is called the Christ, the anointed one of God. In Acts 11:26 we read that “the disciples were first called Christians at Antioch”. A disciple is defined as a follower or student of the teacher, leader, or philosopher. Being a member of a church doesn’t necessarily make one a Christian because membership in a church does not automatically make you a follower, a disciple of Jesus. To be a Christian requires a personal relationship, a friendship with Jesus. There are many people that go to church faithfully every week, sometimes more than once each week and never pick up a Bible and read it, instead, relying on what someone else has to say or in effect preach. The question is, how do you know that what is being preached is correct? There must be some standard for truth. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works”. In the beginning of the Gospel of John, we read that Jesus is the word of God, verse 1 and verse 14. To know what the Bible says is to know what God says.
Only you can choose whether or not you will be a Christian, a follower or disciple of Jesus. No one else can make that decision for you.
Ephesians 2:8,9 says “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast”. In other words, grace, unearned favor or blessing, is a gift that cannot be earned, only accepted by faith or rejected by unbelief.
Starting in John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world (the people not the planet), that he gave his only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil”
We are all sinners (Romans 3:10, 23) and we all need a Savior. Just as a drowning man does not need words of encouragement but rather a life raft, so also we are sinners and do not need a good philosophy or a set of rules to follow but a Savior.
As I have asked before, so will I ask again: what do you believe, but more importantly, why do you believe it?
Where there is objective or unchangeable truth, there is always evidence to support it.
Life is short and death is sure. Statistics show that eventually 10 out of every 10 people will die.
In Matthew 7:13, Jesus says “Enter in at the strait (narrow)gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction (hell), and many there be that go in thereat: because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life (heaven), and few there be that find it.”
Trusting in Christ alone,
George E. Onze
Servants of Christ mm