How would you complete this statement: I am a Christian / believer in God / follower of Jesus because _______________? I ask because our answers can change as we live due to changes in health, relationships, occupations, and lifestyle. As our environment changes, so can our thoughts, words, and actions. Therefore, it’s good to check regularly because there may have been a change in our thinking that is not reflected in our words and actions, and vice versa.
Here are a few possible responses (though not an exhaustive list) to consider.
I love God (Jesus / Him).
God healed me (or someone I love).
God helped me (or someone I love).
my family (friends, the Bible, significant other) told me I should.
I see Him as the only hope for our world.
I don’t know (never really thought about it). Let’s talk about this one.
Whatever your answer, it is a good practice to ask yourself why that is your answer. So many things happen in our lives that can affect what we believe and why we believe it. For example, is what you believe a response to something from the past or because of something that happened recently? How is what you believe reflected in your words and actions? If what you believe has no real impact on how you spend your time and your money, do you really believe it?
Here is where this leads: Noted author, Robert Fulghum wrote, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” We may have all the best thoughts and intentions, we may say all the right things, but it will be what we do that people will notice and remember. This is especially true when we identify as people who believe in God and seek to follow Jesus. Thankfully, we have help.
When Jesus told the disciples that he would be returning to his Father, he promised to send another counselor who would be with us to remind us of all that he taught us. By asking for help, we draw upon the promised resource, the Holy Spirit, who helps us to live as Jesus lived. With that assurance of help, and with our desire to draw upon that resource, we can reflect how we have experienced God’s love onto the lives of those around us.
Together, we are the presence of Jesus in the world. He is experienced by others when we live out his love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, help, and healing. Both our living out his life, and the witness of the lives we touch, give praise to God and lead to a transformed world. So, start your day with a simple prayer for the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you, and then go through your day with ears listening for his help in all things. I promise you, it will be amazing!
In Christ’s love,
Pastor Braxton ><>