Your Very Life

Living where Life is

Month: February 2017

How to get ready today

If you know your boss is coming to check out your work, you prepare for it.

If you know your mom is coming to visit, you clean your house.

If you know the IRS is coming to audit, you get things in order.

If you know the Cable Guy is coming (anytime between 9-noon!!), you have arrange your schedule to be home for it.

We all understand the concept “being ready” for a visit that we know is coming. In Matthew 24-25, Jesus reminds us of the Visitation that is unmistakable. The Coming of the Son of Man at the end of time is not a “maybe-maybe not” scenario. He is coming.

The only unknown is the When.  (Read Matthew 24:36-25:13 – that is the theme of this portion: “be ready for he is coming at a day and an hour you are not aware.”)

Our stance in daily life, then, has got to be one of vigilance, faithfulness and preparation.

Consider the following areas of our lives, and how you can grow in preparing yourself today so that you can look Your Savior in the eyes at his coming! Unashamed. Joyfilled. Use the following to do an “audit” of your life.

  • Affections – what is it that you love and long for more than anything? Are you cultivating your heart to be more consumed with Jesus?
  • Practices or Habits – what is it that you spend your time doing? Which of the things you listed are redemptive, which are neutral, and which draw you away from godliness?
  • Speech – how God-honoring are the words that come out of your mouth?
  • Decisions – do they reflect God’s priorities? Do they strain toward “putting to death my sinful nature” & walking in the Fruit of the Spirit.
  • Sin – are you giving room in your life for things you know are wrong? “It’s just my little peccadilo”. NO! Do battle against sin that so easily entangles us. Also, are you asking God to show you your blind-spots and hidden errors?
  • Confession – how often do you seek God’s forgiveness? His power? His Priorities? How often do you throw yourself on his mercy?
  • Praise – when was the last time you simply told God (in speaking, writing or singing) how great he is and why?

Watch the Lord make you more like Christ, and make your life more fulfilled, as you address these areas in your life seriously!

Hood Ornament Christianity

Christians: Who is Jesus to you? A simple question.

I would think that every person who claims to be a Christian would say something like, “he’s the most important thing in my life. He’s my savior. He’s the center of things.”

These are the correct answers. Good. Let me ask the question a little more pointedly: Say you have a friend who has no real experience of Jesus. Based on their observations of your life, who would they say Jesus is to you?

Would their answers go something like this? “Jesus is someone they mention once in a while, and I know they get to a church now and then (when they are not at the beach or traveling with sports). They play that K-LOVE radio in their car. But other than that, we live pretty similar lives. Their kid watch the same movies as mine, they yell at the refs like I do, we both complain about credit card debts and call the same politicians liars… A whole lot like me, except I sleep in every Sunday.”

Do you see yourself anywhere in this description? One of the dangers of the “bible belt” is that there are a whole bunch of people who live Hood Ornament Christianity: lives that are just like others, except that we pop Jesus out on top, and think we’re OK.

True Christianity is—to continue the metaphor—the entire car: Jesus is the engine, the chassis, the drivetrain, and the fuel in the tank. He’s the whole car of our lives, and we are the passengers carried by him.

Jesus didn’t come to ‘make your life better’; he came to give you God for eternity. He’s not the best option for how to live your life; he’s the only Rescuer from sin and death. It’s not that Jesus wants to redirect you; he wants to resurrect you.

In Christ, we are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), not just a cleaned-up one. Jesus lives in us (Gal 2:20), not above us or beyond us. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:3), totally changed and totally secure.

Jesus warns us that many who call themselves Christians will abandon their confession under the hard times, troubles and persecutions that are coming (Matt 24:4-13). They will turn their back on Jesus himself because they fear suffering. He also encourages us that many will endure to the end and be saved.

It seems to me that if you treat Christ like a Hood Ornament on your life, you are in grave danger of being those who fall away. But, if Christ is the car and driver of your life, you will buckle your seatbelt in hard times and cling to him.

So, how do I know if I’m a Hood Ornament Christian or not? In other words, how do I know if I would hold to Christ in tough times?

Some questions to serve as answers: (1) how tightly do you hold to him today? I doubt you will be able to hold more tightly when everything is against us. (2) How much do you sacrifice for him and arrange your life around his priorities now? Do you think you’ll start doing it ‘then’, in hard times? (3) What are you unwilling to give up now to Christ? That’s what’s more important than Jesus to you.

The more of us we give to Jesus now, the more of us he’ll have then!

Lord Jesus, Give me an open hand with the things of life—relationships, opportunities, dreams, homes, positions, things, assets, hopes. They are gifts from you. And, I hold them in trust for you, not in ownership over them. Please forgive me where I’ve grabbed them too tightly, and valued them more than I ought. Give me an open-hand with the things of life, so that my hand can grasp tightly the One Thing that is necessary: You and You alone. May my life be wrapped up in you.

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