Being a Christian

mancarrycross2

Being a Christian is not a part-time gig. It is not a piece of jewelry we can take off, or a tag word we use among friends. It is not a sometimes pursuit that relies on convenience. Being a Christian is a daily, every breathe, every choice, every thought commitment.

At times it will necessitate pressing forward through pride, anger, fear, the unexpected, loneliness, doubt, illness, grief, and the growing anti-Christian culture to choose to please God with every part of our heart, mind, soul and lives. It may mean being willing to be disliked, persecuted, opposed, misrepresented, lied on and attacked. Because being a Christian means walking like Christ – and we all know what happened to Christ.

Being a Christian requires us to forgive without exception, give without expectation, and love without limitation. Christ commands that our walks be continually executed through love, allowing God to use us to demonstrate grace and mercy to others. The ‘others’ whom He directs us toward may, or may not, prove so easy to love. But love them we must.

Being a Christian means refusing to be spiritually and culturally blind because its easier and more comfortable, but praying every day that God opens our eyes, ears and hearts to His Will and His truth in order that we might live to His glory. It means being radical about our faith, our choices, our talk, and our views. It means refusing to say “I think..” if we have a true understanding that “God says..”. Yet, still (see Paragraph 3).

Being a Christian is not for the fainthearted, yet it is for the weak, the broken, and the worn. It is not for the perfect, because the perfect would not need a Savior.

This means that sometimes we will get it wrong. Really wrong. Just plain wrong.

But grace has provided for our failures, as well.

For when we, as Christians, or rather Christ-followers, humble ourselves, repent, and come running to the throne of grace, we will most certainly find mercy and grace for our deepest, darkest points of need.

Being a Christian means living a life of purpose, with a destiny and a future designed by the heart and will of God. It means being able to live life with an expectancy of abundance of joy. It means experiencing peace that surpasses understanding during our most desolate seasons, and finding that our jars keep pouring long after they should have been empty.

Being a Christian means caring about the lost. Jesus’ life demonstrates a heart perpetually compelled to lead others to His Father. And our lives should as well.  Jesus’ life reflects a heart that cared deeply about meeting the needs of those who were unable, or had become unwilling, to meet their own. And our lives should as well. Jesus loved the little children. Deeply. And so should we.

Finally, being a Christian should supersede our politics, our denomination, our affiliations, and dare I say, even our race. For, the ultimate reward of following Christ lies in eternity. In heaven, there will be no designation of democrat or republican, black or white, independent affiliation, Baptist or Methodist. There will only be those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Today, and every day, let us care about what He cares about. Let us support what honors Him. Let us stand boldly for what pleases Him. Let us be unafraid to acknowledge sin as sin. Everything else will pass away, but only the eternal will remain.

I pray that God would bless the Church to love and stand with boldness.

And I pray that He starts with me.