Grace and Peace,
We have been told all of our lives that Jesus was returning soon, my great-great grandmother went 104 years without seeing Jesus come back, longer than most of us reading this will get to be. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this statement, but the flaw lies in the human concept of “soon.” The same Bible that tells us of His return, tells us 1000 years is as one day to the Lord (2 Peter 3:8). The real case here is that one can be here today and gone today, that every sunset is another opportunity past to not just accept Christ but make the changes in one’s lifestyle and thought patterns that culminates in a life poured out, a life that screams, “I love You Lord.” The urgency isn’t just for those who don’t believe in Jesus, the urgency is especially for those who believe in Jesus but have become complacent in their walk with Him. The urgency is for those who are lackadaisical about living out the gospel in accordance with the Word of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
My sister, my brother, listen to me well, no part of your mission as a Christian is to un-gay your child, fight for position at the church, or blindly follow a Pastor’s instructions that you know contradict with the Bible. The urgency is for us to live out the gospel, to love like Christ loved, and to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. The urgency about Christ’s return is for us to cultivate the fruit of the Holy Spirit and let that supernatural fruit birth change in our environment. We have to ask ourselves, as Christians, does my presence in this setting really make a difference? Do I bring love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, endurance, self-discipline everywhere I go? Why not? What kind of walk with Christ do I have, if the fruits of the spirit are non-existent in my life? What kind of relationship do I have with Christ if I hoard my fruit and don’t nourish others outside of my family?
This week I did an amazing exercise, I listed all the things that drew and continue to draw me personally to Christ Jesus, and boy was this list long and beautiful. This exercise made me feel so connected to Him and emotional. Then, I listed all the things I had in common with that list I made. And you know what? I fell so short it’s embarrassing. I had to repent! I had to get my mind in gear to understand where the urgency went about me preparing for the return of Jesus, and not so much just His return but eternity with God. Just because Christ isn’t coming back tomorrow, doesn’t mean I will be here the day after to change my legacy. I thought about the legacy I wanted to leave my children, I want them to experience and therefore know, what the love of Jesus can do through someone. So, I felt compelled to write out not only a prayer of repentance, but an action plan for how I was going to use my talents and resources to be the example of Jesus’s love that my community needs me to be. This post is part of that action plan.
When you know that something is wrong, the worst thing you can do is nothing. Jump into action to rewarm your heart toward living for Christ. What’s so amazing is that if we practice more honesty in prayer, we could get more breakthrough. I encourage to do this exercise that I did, and let it birth the most honest prayer you’ve ever prayed. Because in reality, you know you’re stagnant in your walk with God because of a host of reasons ranging from rejection, church hurt, jealousy, to simply just not feeling it anymore. You can be real and tell God you’ve locked your heart to understanding the need and privilege of being a Christian that lives like Christ. You can tell God that not living up to Christ, constantly failing at being perfect has discouraged you from even trying to be half way decent. The honesty will breed clarity and the clarity will breed motivation and action, so that you can stop doing the motions of Christianity (tithing, church attendance, talking about God) and actually have a relationship with Christ that transforms you and your community.
Too many people have been hurt by Christians, so we can no longer rely on mere words to compel someone to Christ, especially if they are unsupported by our own lack of grace, lack of integrity, lack of faith, and false humility. Ask yourself, are you currently making every effort to live up to what you love about Jesus? Are you desperate for others to experience what you love about Jesus? Truth is, it doesn’t matter how much you tell someone God’s loving kindness is better than life, if all they’ve experienced of your Christian self is a mean-spirit.
And if you don’t have an answer to these questions, I implore you to go back to the drawing board with Him, return to the Bible, return to when and why you first believed and build from there. A prayerless, prideful, distant lifestyle hinders all spiritual growth. It is time to move beyond “Get saved, Jesus is coming back soon,” and layer that with living saved. Live like Christ’s love and sacrifice mean everything to you. Live like you want everyone to taste and see that The Lord God is good.
With Christian Love,
CALL TO ACTION:
1. List everything that attracts you to Jesus,
2. List the attributes and behaviors that you have that match what you wrote on that list.
3.What can you put into play immediately so that others will see in you what you love about Jesus?