Skip to main content

Living Boldly for Jesus

I grab my coffee cup and fill it until it's about to overflow. I sip slowly as not to spill any of it's goodness. I clean off the kitchen table of just folded clothes and set my Bible down. I open it to the ribbon marker that has kept my spot in Acts. I have been reading and rereading this book over the last month. Each time I read it I glean something new to chase my heart into motion after a God who created me for more than what this world offers. 

I'm reading about the disciples and the cost of following Christ. For some reason we sit back in our comfy chairs today with our feet kicked up and think they had life easier than we do. Are times really so different? Ponder that before you answer. My first answer was, of course times are different today. We are different, but after reading and pondering the Word, I have a different answer. 

Once Jesus ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit came upon them they grew as disciples. They were emboldened and strengthened as never before. They faced surmountable obstacles, but nothing ever kept them from believing! Stonings, floggings, and prison. They were willing to give all they had for their Savior. They knew there was more than what this world offered.  They were filled with the Holy Spirit. They knew their mission. They were to spread the gospel and to love those in this world with a love that only comes from a Jesus of grace, love, and redemption. 

Our mission is no different today. If anything it's easier for us today, but for some reason we make it so much more difficult than it really is. Our biggest issue? We don't want to offend people. How offensive will it be when at the end of this age those we never spoke to about Jesus one day stand and ask us, "Why didn't you tell me?" 

We call ourselves Christians. We attend church. We get involved and we do charity work of all kinds. But yet we don't talk to our neighbors. We leave our family alone because we don't want to rock the boat. We don't share with co-workers because we can't take the chance on losing our job. We skip out on sharing with friends because, well, we want to keep them. We definitely don't want strangers thinking we're off our rockers. 

We live in a world of busy. We live in a me world. I think there are times when the world might even question if I'm a Christian. We are so fascinated with moving forward in today's standards of happiness that we forget what this life, our life, is all about. It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about Jesus. Without Him what is there? Without Him at some point our last breath comes and what do we have? A life lived for what? A legacy that states what about us? 

When I read about the lives of the disciples I see men and women who gave all. They lived love. They didn't just go about a motion of daily activities and wait for the weekend to arrive. They shared Jesus in many ways. If the world around them were to look into their lives they would have been found guilty as charged as being a Christian. Would the same be said about us today? What are we willing to give up for Jesus? 

What we don't really want to give up is our comfort. We don't want to be inconvenienced. We don't want to give up our time. Sure, we give some. We do some. But in the end we often wonder, what's in it for me? Where's my spotlight, my pat on the back for all the work I'm doing? Will anyone even notice and if they do will they appreciate all I am doing?

Bottom line. We are to live our lives for the audience of One. It doesn't matter how many thank you's we receive or if anyone even counts us as valuable. Because we are valued to the One who created us for greatness and glory! The work we do does matter when we are doing what He has called us to do and doing it for Him and no other reason. 

The disciples moved about to the voice of God. He spoke and they listened. They were in tune with their Savior. We are too busy to listen to someone else try to direct our lives, when in fact we know exactly what we want to accomplish. If we could only get it through our heads that it isn't about our accomplishments. It's all about Him. 

When we live for Him and not this world things our lives change. We come to realize what's really of importance. We need to love people enough to offend them. I'm not speaking about walking around judging others and telling people how they ought to be living. God is in the saving/changing business. We are to be in the people business. We are to be living in such a way that our lives make an impact on others just by witness. 

To love doesn't mean to be a doormat. The disciples stood up for themselves. They knew when to speak and when to remain silent. We have to remember they too were sinners saved by grace. Love means standing up for those who cannot stand for themselves. Love is making a difference. It's sacrificing our comforts and easy going lives to stand up and be ready to follow the call of Christ. 

As I close my Bible I ponder the disciples and the lives they lived. I want to be that kind of disciple ready to give up my comfort and ease for a life well pleasing to God. I want to walk those dusty roads and meet people face to face with a loving hello and mean it. I want my feet and hands to be calloused of doing God's work. The work that He has called me to do. That doesn't mean I over extend myself. I've done that and it is exhausting.

Sometimes that work is right here at home. Sometimes it's giving my own time to care for my mom. Sometimes it's putting my plans on standby when my children need me. It's getting the toilets cleaned and the wood floors shined. My work isn't always outside my door. I need to remember to pay as much attention to what's right in front of my face as I do the calling outside of my door. Sometimes the work will be fun and exciting and other times it may feel like nothing is moving in the right direction at all. But see, what I'm learning is that being a disciple of Christ is simply listening to His voice and following in obedience. 

Friends, if we have received Christ as Savior we have the Holy Spirit within us. We can live empowered lives through Christ. There's nothing we have to fear. I want to live a bold a life. Not just behind the computer screen, but in my day to day life as I meet others. I want to speak with wisdom and move with grace. This can't happen on my own, but the more I allow Christ of my life, the more I will witness His glory. And right now, nothing seems impossible! 

"Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." Philippians 1:27a


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

Oh, just where do I begin? This is the stuff in which great novels are made. I made my way through this richly beautiful novel turning page after page with such deep emotion and thought. I couldn't turn the pages quick enough, but I didn't want it to end to soon. It's one of those novels you could continue reading as long as there were pages. No page just made of fluff, words with no meaning on the page. Every single line in this novel created a story that will last in my heart forever. 
Ms. Everson, I am so happy stories of the war were shared with you. Oh, to have your Sunday school teacher share with you, "You can't choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose who you marry", is a blessing that has now enchanted your readers. What a story you have weaved together. History penned with such depth, detail, and a story that captures the heart. 
This lovely story begins in 1941. The war has started. Picture a family gathered around the Zenith to hear t…

The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

I came across this selection on Amazon. I had seen so many reviews that it intrigued me. I had never read anything from this German author. The cover caught my attention as did the description of this novel. 
It's a part of a trilogy. I am getting ready to open up book 2, The American Lady. I cannot wait to begin. I tell you this book marveled me. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. What a journey into another time and place. 
We travel to Germany where this novel is set. The year is 1890 and we find ourselves in Lauscha, Germany. The author did a fantastic job at the perfect description of not only the area, but circumstance, and heart of the characters. Her writing style flows so easily that the pages almost turn themselves. 
The characters are easy to love. Three sisters who are now wondering, after their father had passed from this earth,  how they will now provide for themselves. It isn't going to be easy, but these sisters show us how to prevail over challenges that…

The" I Am" Makes Us Think About What "i am"

In Genesis 1:26-27 it shares something valuable to each of us about who we are in God. We are created in His image. What I love about this verse below is that is says, "make man in OUR image". What's OUR? The trinity, God, the Holy Spirit, and Christ Jesus. Ponder that. I mean really go deep. We are make in THEIR image. 
"Then God said, "Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them."
We are His workmanship. He knew us before we were ever born. He weaved us together within the womb, but even before then He planned our life perfectly for us. That's so much to ponder isn't it? 
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared…

Unexpected Blessings

The last words my dad spoke to me from his hospital bed were, "Rob, take care of your mom." Those are words I have never forgotten. I have not only honored them for my dad, but for my mom. I too am commanded by my Father to honor my mother and father.
"Honor your father and mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
My mom gave her life in caring for me. On my first birthday, my very first Christmas, was spent in the ICU as I was very sick with pneumonia. A little later I would burn myself with spilled coffee. A few years later I would tumble down many stairs and once again spent time in the hospital. 
I remember all the times I was sick and could feel my mom's hand brush against my forehead as she checked for fever. All the times she must have stayed up all night as I was sick. 
When I was little she would pour me a bowl of Raisin Bran. I loved it. Only I didn't like the raisins. She would take t…

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

This is my first novel read by Michele Phoenix. I love the premise of this novel and all that she opened my eyes to. We always hear of the 'calling' by missionaries. We want to go where God calls us. We want to make a difference. 
To be called by God isn't the same for every soul. We all fit differently into His plan. Our walk with Him isn't ALL we do for His name, but our relationship with Him, our intimate journey with our Savior. 
This novel is raw and transparent. For me, it was the journey of Lauren. We see that her husband feels called to work in Nepal and with the people, but we really don't read about much of his personal journey. 
Their son, Ryan, is struggling. We can see through the conversations he has with his parents that he is truly unhappy. We see the fall, but we don't really get a close glimpse into his heart. 
It is with Lauren that we journey. She feels alone and lost. Through her words we can 'feel' the pain in her heart. She is br…