Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Don't Be a Christian in Name Only

Grandparenting, I've been told is one of the greatest blessings that God gives.  It's a bit of a mystery to me at this stage of life because a year ago (in two days exactly) I became a mom.  And the unconditional love that I feel towards my son seems supernatural, so to think that it can be even stronger for the child of my child is unfathomable.  Now before you grandparents get all stirred up, I didn't say that y'all don't still love your kids or that I doubt this stronger emotion for your grandkids to be true, I just can't understand it, myself, right now.  And because of the four amazing grandparents my son has and the pretty awesome parents he has as well ;-) (hehe) something I can't understand even more is when a person sees being a parent or grandparent as a status or title instead of a relationship. 

And it was in a conversation recently in a room full of doting grandparents and jokes from their children about how they loved our children more than us and not understanding how someone would not love being a grandparent, that my mom said something that I thought was completely profound and one of those I-have-never-thought-about-it-like-that-before moments... she said, "And it's sad that a lot of people are like that with Jesus. They just wear the name of Christian like a status symbol just so others can see it and think that about them, not because they actually want to know him." Maybe that wasn't exactly word for word (sorry mom) but wow- what a thought!

Evidence can be seen all over of people who say they are Christians but their lives don't match what they claim.  They live completely for themselves and are only interested in Jesus when it suits them.  They want to pray to him when they "need" him but not actually seek relationship with him.  They want to show him off on Facebook and proclaim they love him, but they don't actually know him.  And before you start listing off people in your mind that this applies to, make sure it isn't you. "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

I love Jesus and I'm not afraid to proclaim that by wearing Christian T-shirts, and cross jewelry.  But what I wear is not ALL that I'm about.  I love scripture pictures- you know what I mean, the beautiful pictures that someone has added a Bible verse to that we share on Facebook and Twitter, and I share them often- but that is not ALL that I'm about either.  If all I did was wear Christian attire and share Bible verses on social media but didn't have an actual relationship with Jesus then I am just showing "Jesus" off, and when I say I'm a "Christian" it's in name only. If I don't have a relationship with Jesus then I'm not actually a Christian at all and I am missing out on what it means to be a Christian!

They say the best part of being a grandparent isn't just having grandkids to show off, but the best part is actually BEING a grandparent- you know spending time with their grandkids, loving on them and playing with them.  The best thing about being a Christian is not just being able to tell people you're a Christian.  The best thing about being a Christian is that:
we are no longer separated from our heavenly Father;
we do not have to pay the price for our sins by facing God's wrath and eternal death apart from Him;
we are now living free from sins;
we are covered by grace;
we have hope for the future;
and everyday, all the time WE GET JESUS!

Being a Christian is about loving Jesus, living for Jesus, looking like Jesus and focusing on Jesus, anything less than that is not being a Christian at all. Galatians 2:20 says: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

It's because we love Jesus so much and are so grateful for his sacrifice that we long to be in a relationship with him, spending time with him, and getting to know him. And because he is our life, and not just part of it, we want everyone we know, to know him, too.

Don't be guilty of just talking about Jesus and not actually living for Jesus in all you say and do!

Ephesians 4:21-24 says:
 "Assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness."

Love in Christ,


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