Your Christian faith is not to become a person who people admire as a good person. “Look at (insert your name here),” it might be good for our imagination to hear about ourselves, “they are so strong/smart/giving, and have such great character.” Or “They have the perfect family, a great marriage,” would also be so nice to hear.
It sounds like a reasonable end, and the Bible has certain rules and regulations that help get you there, right?
Nope, your Christian faith is not faith in a self-help plan.
The simple aim of your Christian faith is to allow Jesus to do his work through you in a world that needs him so much. And for Jesus to do his work through you, our faith allows him to do his work IN you. But for God to get IN us, our faith must accept and initiate and seek an ever increasing, sanctifying, atoning relationship with him.
It is the relationship with God that is the beginning and ends of our faith. Not the relationship with the world, or even others. But it just so happens that as we increase in relationship with Him, we do become a better person. But we’re not hoping for that recognition, we’re hoping people say instead, “I know Jesus better because he lives in (insert your name here).” And when they say, “I want what (Insert your name here) has,” they’re not talking about the things of this world, they’re talking about your relationship with God.
Jesus says, “Walk with me.” -Matthew 11: 29, 1 John 2: 6, etc. Faith trusts that invitation. Say yes like it was a friend inviting you jogging.
Jesus says, “Abide in me.” -John 15: 4-11. Jesus is the source of our life, the Word that gave us meaning. There is nothing in the world that can make us happy with our looks, health, status, or bring us true and lasting joy. The only and best satisfaction is when we receive everything we really need as a result of our strengthening relationship with our friend, the source.
Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” -Matthew 28: 19. This doesn’t have to be in fancy debate rhetoric, building houses, or sending money. None of that will matter anyway if you don’t make the first thing first: your relationship with God as HE walks out from your house into the world.
Seek Him in the morning, evening, and throughout the day. Talk to Him in prayer. Let Him sing to you through hymns and songs. Steep in Scripture as if He’s trying to tell you something. Increase in relationship with others who are close to Him. And pay attention to the things in your life and world that are trying to come between you and God, distract you from the search, and deter you from following that eternal dinner bell we have in Jesus calling us home.
See you at our friend and perfect Father’s house, at the table. SK
Sean King is the Pastor for First Christian Church of Cisco.