I’d wager that most Christians pray a lot. I’d also be willing to bet that a large majority of our prayers are self-serving requests rather than being filled with thankfulness or praise. Many never pray until they are in some sort of a jam and in desperate need of being bailed out. There is a time to call on the name of the Lord to rescue you. There are definitely appropriate times to ask Him for strength, wisdom, and courage. Even more important are the prayers that thank Him for His love and blessings, prayers that praise Him for His holiness and overall awesomeness! We should daily be cultivating a strong relationship with Him in prayer, learning more about Who He is and what part He has equipped us to play in His mission. Yet most of our prayers are selfish, shallow, and quite probably worthless.
Archives for March 2014
“Our great honor lies in being just what Jesus was and is. To be accepted by those who accept Him, rejected by all who reject Him, loved by those who love Him. What greater glory could come to any man?” Those words were written by A.W. Tozer over 50 years ago, but still ring just as true today. Our purpose and calling in life is to look like and glorify Jesus. Everything we do should point people to Him. Anything besides this in our lives is superfluous. When our entire aim is to be accepted by those who accept Him and rejected by those who don’t, our daily activities become much more focused.
I recently saw a television commercial for Mercedes Benz automobiles which featured their slogan, “The best or nothing”. It made me think how fitting this saying would be for all who aspire to follow Jesus. No matter what we do, we should always give Him our best. That means no matter how tired we are, how inconvenient the circumstances might be, or how grueling the task, we will always give our best. If Jesus doesn’t deserve your very best on His behalf, then nobody does. As ambassadors of Christ we are commissioned to always be on mission and on target. Our focus must never wane.
In the trials of life it often seems that God is far away. We wonder where He is in the midst of our pain, as if He wandered away and left us to fend for ourselves. The truth is that God never leaves us. Because He indwells us, it is impossible for Him to leave those who have believed in Him and committed their lives to Him. We are one, and nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). The Bible states that God knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30). As Steven Furtick points out in his book, Crash the Chatterbox, “You can’t count someone’s hairs, one by one, from a distance.” God is always close, no matter your circumstances.
When people hang around you, do they sense something different? More precisely, and far more importantly, do they see Jesus emanating from you? We should be walking so closely with Jesus that we cannot help but radiate His love and presence in every aspect of our lives. No matter what we are doing or who we may happen to be with, if Jesus isn’t on display through our words and actions, then we haven’t yet fully surrendered our lives to Him. We can’t compartmentalize our activities into the ones we give to God, and the ones over which we keep control. God loves us too much for that. He only wants the absolute best for every one of us. And He knows the best choice in any situation or circumstance will always be Jesus.