Today is the last day of 2012. The beginning of a new year is always an exciting time for me, as it presents a clean slate and a fresh set of opportunities. I’m a goals fanatic and have found it useful to have a theme to guide my planning for each year. Last year’s theme was, “Consume Less, Contribute More.” This year I have selected, “Take Action”. As a follower of Christ, nothing could be more important. As James said, we must be doers of the word, not merely hearers (James 1:22-25). If we are going to grow in our faith, we must act on the things Jesus told us to do.
Archives for December 2012
I enjoy listening to music as I drift to sleep each night. Recently I was listening to an older song by Margaret Becker entitled, “This is My Passion”. While I’ve listened to this song hundreds of times over the years, I was particularly struck on that night by the refrain of the chorus where she sings: “This is my passion, holiness, holiness”. The poignancy of the lyric is driven home by Margaret’s earnest vocal. What if we could say with conviction that the passion of our life was holiness? Yet, isn’t this what Jesus calls each of us to in our own lives?
What if Jesus had never been born? What if He had not come to walk among us? It’s Christmas Eve and tomorrow we celebrate the birth of our Savior a couple thousand years ago. How would your life be different today if you had never come to know Jesus? I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’d be alive. There have been times in my life that if it weren’t for Jesus, I don’t think I would have made it through. I have often remarked that I don’t understand how people cope without Christ. To whom do they turn when everyone has failed them and everything has fallen apart? How do people without Jesus ever experience true peace? God created us for a purpose, and the only way to discover that purpose is through the person of Jesus Christ.
These days it seems to be the rage to write articles espousing the “The 3 Keys to This” or the “7 Steps to That”. Everyone seems to be looking for a quick fix or at least some concrete guidance to getting to where they want to be. It made me ponder what I might consider to be the keys to following Christ. If I could boil it all down to a few concepts, what would they be? As I mulled it over, I kept coming back to a single thought: think less about yourself. Perhaps following Jesus really is that simple.
Whenever there is a tragedy such as the horrific killings in Newtown, Connecticut, people want to know how a good and loving God could allow such inexplicable violence. How can God truly be worth serving if He allows murder, rape, kidnapping, depravity and abject evil to exist in our world? Is He not powerful enough to put an end to it? Is He even in control at all? These are fair questions that come out of unimaginable grief and trauma. I think it is okay and even healthy to ask these questions. But people want to do more than question God, they demand an answer. It’s here that I think too many Christians are missing the mark.