Living a life wholly devoted to following Christ is not normal. People will look at you strange as you go about your days in service to others. You’ll be laughed at, ostracized, avoided and ignored. Jesus made people uncomfortable in their selfishness, and when we live lives that look like His, we will do the same. This can lead to us becoming discouraged, but it is at this moment that we must remind ourselves that it is not about us; it’s about reflecting and demonstrating the love of Jesus to everyone else. When we keep the mission of Christ in focus, we will realize that no amount of ridicule or persecution is unbearable in light of what we have been chosen to do.
So we become comfortable with being different, with being perceived as a little off, perhaps a bit weird. We don’t conform to the standards of what society says we should do or be. Instead we are being molded on a daily basis to look more like the One who created us, loved us, and died for us. Life is the journey to Jesus. Those of us who choose to follow Him need never wander aimlessly wondering what the meaning of it all might be. We recognize the story in which we find ourselves, and it is a fantastic adventure of unending fulfillment when we keep our eyes firmly fixed on the author. Jesus endured so much for each of us; the things we endure on His behalf pale greatly by comparison. He gave everything for us; we must do no less for Him.
For me, the most difficult part of following Christ is the day to day, moment by moment stuff. Writing checks to support ministries engaged in furthering His mission is a painless process for me at this point. I have no problem encouraging others to stand strong in the face of opposition, praying for those who are being persecuted for their faith, or studying the Word of God; these come naturally to me these days. I enjoy extending simple kindnesses to others throughout my day, but how often do I pass by someone in need and fail to recognize their situation? Jesus never failed to notice an opportunity to help; further still, He never failed to seize such an opportunity. My problem and perhaps yours too, is taking the time to notice the Kingdom opportunities that present themselves on a daily basis.
We need eyes that see through the viewpoint of Jesus. We need hands and feet that are unafraid and unashamed to be the Spirit of Christ at all times and in all situations. As long as our attention remains inwardly focused, we will never fully grasp what it means to walk as Jesus did; we will not be free to be a true follower of Christ. In order to carry out His mission in our lives, we must learn to live every moment for His glory. How many opportunities are slipping through our fingers every day, never again to be encountered? How willing are we to put aside our own interests in order to serve the needs of another? Divine moments are all around us every day; we simply need new eyes with which to see them. Ask God to help you see the world as He does, and when you see an opportunity to seize it. To walk as Jesus walked, we must serve as Jesus served. We have no time left to lose; from this point forward we must choose to live every moment for the glory and honor of Christ. To this we have been called; for this we have been chosen.