Christian Begins with Christ

Being a Christian begins with remembering who God is, and what he has done for you.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9

I have been wrestling with how to share Jesus with those who are struggling in dark times, when they have lost hope and see no way forward. My knee jerk reaction is to tell them that Jesus is the hope they are looking for. Jesus is the answer to the problems of our sin sick world. Jesus brings healing, restoration, joy, and freedom. My words fall flat as blank stares, filled with pain, look back at me. Are these the same faces that Jesus observed as he ministered across Judea?

“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:35-38

This week I listened to a message about praying for laborers (Matthew 9:35-38). The need is so great in our world, people are lost and hopeless. The harvest is indeed plentiful, you can see it in the faces of those who come to the church for food, and clothing. You can hear it in their voices as they share their troubles, hopelessness has a tone. It is the dull drumming of a world that has become deaf to the needs of others. It is the endless cries for help we no longer hear. The overwhelming need of people today across the world can easily become a cacophony of noise so overwhelming that we choose to tune it out for fear it will overwhelm us. The world needs a savior.

The world has a savior, Jesus.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Jesus came to seek and save the lost, so that we may have life abundantly, that we may have peace in tribulation because he has overcome the world.

We cannot overcome all the hopelessness that exists in the world today. We cannot fix everything that is broken, we cannot fill every need, and we cannot be the savior of each hurt person we meet. When we turn our focus on who we are and what we can do, we will drown in a sea of despair. Without Christ we can do nothing.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Apart from Christ we can do nothing. Everything begins and ends with Him. Trying to fix the world, fix my community, fix my family, fix my neighbor out of my own broken jar of clay is like trying to bail out my boat with a bucket full of holes. It may feel like I am helping, and I am working hard, but the boat is going to sink, taking me along with it.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.” Deuteronomy 7:9

God is who he says he is. He is faithful and steadfast in his love for us. We are not called to save the world; we are called to obey him… How do we do that, you ask?

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Being a Christian begins with remembering who God is, and what he had done for you, and loving others as he loves us.

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:19-21

The world doesn’t need another savior. We are loved, redeemed, saved for this life and all eternity. We have been given all we need (2 Peter 1:3) for this life to live how He has called us, to be Christ to those who need us, to love others as He loved us.

I challenge you (and me) to approach each day with the knowledge of who God is and his love for you. Then, from that over abundant fountain of love pour out onto those around you. approach everyone you meet with God’s heart; serve the needs of the people He puts in front of you. It is not our job to save the world, Jesus did that already. It is our job to meet people where they are, love them as they are, and walk with them to the foot of the cross.

I pray that today that the Holy Spirit will give us an opportunity to meet the needs of someone. That he would divinely appoint opportunities for us to share Christ’s love with someone, and that we would respond with the same love that Christ first showed us.

Please help me share the good news of Jesus and how He can change your life, and our world!

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Hello! I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, and prayer requests!