When I say that "I am a Christian," I am not shouting that "I am clean living." I'm whispering "I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven." When I say "I am a Christian," I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide. When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.
When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess. When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it. When I say "I am a Christian" I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name. When I say "I am a Christian," I'm not holier than though. I'm just a simple sinner who receive God's good grace, somehow!
I wish I could fit all of those words on a t-shirt to show that as Christians we're not better than anyone else; we've just realized that we can't do life on our own.
I heard an encouraging story this morning on the radio and felt I had to share it.
In undergrad a girls boyfriend had just finished football practice and came back to the dorm. They met in his room and began talking. Without any plan, the football player knelt down and proposed to his girlfriend saying "I know you don't want it like this, but I feel God telling me to do this. Sometime in our relationship the odds will be stacked against us and everyone will tell us how we'll fail, but we'll make it."
It's now been three and half years since they've been married and the former football player has been having an affair for the past nine months. I wish I could share with you the strength and calm in this woman's voice as she shared this story. She said "I know that God prepared us for this and promised us we'll make it through and we will."
The church that I attend will provide these small bookmarks with verses to read for three months, typically a chapter a day. This month is the first time I've taken it upon myself to follow these readings. I won't lie, I'm not always excited to do it and I haven't done it everyday, but I must say, the more I do it, the more I find myself desiring to be just like Him. A couple verses that stuck out from my passage today were the following:
1 John 3: 21-24 (NIV)
"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the spirit he gave us."
Do not just believe in Jesus Christ, obey his teachings, follow in his footsteps and dare to be as much like him as you possibly can. A question I have to challenge myself with is "Do I relate so closely to Jesus that my friends feel like their friends with Him?" "Does my fiance' feel like she's marrying Jesus?"
Ask yourself the same thing.
Within the past few years I've felt God tug at my heart to write a book, but what about? I don't know. That's something I need to begin searching for and thought maybe a blog was a great way to throw around some ideas and inspiration. But a blog about a book that may never happen? That doesn't sound very exciting. So, I've decided I will begin this blog by trusting God to guide me, and today, He's put accountability on my heart.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to say that doing God's work isn't always easy when it's not convenient for you. Like, when I come home from a long day at work, it's not always easy to want to read the Bible or pray for that lady that cut you off on the parkway during your drive home. You know that feeling when you really don't want to do something, like homework, but you know you should? Then when you finally break down and do it, it's the best feeling in the world!
Well, I've learned that when Christ is involved, that feeling of accomplishment stays around for an even longer period of time. Even better, I've learned that from that accomplishment comes a greater desire to do the things He desires. Why? Because when you do acts in pursuit of Him, you're rewarded with a greater thirst for His righteousness.