My So-Called (Christian) Life. Part 2

For those who knew my grandfather, who we called PapPap, anyone would likely say that he was a man of strong faith. Though he was a bit ornery and was always playing jokes and showing us grandchildren such fun games like 52 card pickup, you could tell he had a heart for Jesus. PapPap liked to talk a lot and share a lot of stories from his past. His stories might mean that you had to stick around for an hour or so, because he kind of took awhile to get to the point. But that’s what we all loved about him. There was always one conversation that would occasionally come up though that you could tell was important to him, and that was his faith. I remember several years before he passed away my family and I were visiting him and Grandma in Georgia where they were living at the time. PapPap and I were in the kitchen as he was showing me some card tricks as was the norm. After playing, he started telling his usual run of stories. I’m not sure how we ended up on the topic, but somehow the conversation turned to his faith. I remember him specifically saying that he wasn’t afraid of dying someday, because when he did he was certain he would be in heaven with the Lord. I don’t really remember if he specifically told me what I needed to do to get the same results he was looking forward to, but for whatever reason he decided to share this with me and showed me how confident he was in his faith with God.

Years later, I see the importance of having faith myself. Faith is what drives my life now and my every day actions and decisions. If it wasn’t for my faith in Jesus Christ, I really would have no purpose in life. For years I tried to put my faith in this world instead. Although this earth is a gift from God, this earth alone can not save me from a life from sin or make me happy. It’s important to know where we should be placing our faith. Putting our faith and time into things in this world is a waste of time, as there is no reward that comes from it. We must put our faith in Jesus, because we are not here for ourselves, but for Him, to do His works and will as he pleases. The Bible makes it very clear that our love for this world is nothing God wants to associate Himself with in 1 John (NIV):

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

A lot of people might ask why we must have faith in Jesus and do his work and worry about his goals and wants. The reason is because we are not God and we were created solely to serve him. Non Christians might take offense to this, because why should we spend our time and energy for someone else we can’t physically see or or touch? We should because of the award that is waiting for us. The award is, that if we carry out Jesus’s will and not our own, we can receive the gift of eternal life in the end. But to receive this ultimate gift God puts in a very important condition that must not be overlooked. That condition He requires of us is Faith. God requires us to have Faith because there is no greater way to show our love and trust in someone. I guess God could have made it easier and shown up to us with a crystal ball and proved we would receive life for our surrenderance to Him, but our motives might be different. It would be no different than being tempted by your boss with a $1,000 bonus check to complete a project. By adding faith to the equation God knows you truly love him. Don’t trade serving God for serving this earth as I can guarantee serving Jesus is far better with or without salvation in the picture. Have faith and enjoy the benefits of doing things you thought were not possible:

12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. – John 14 12-13 (NIV)

It is important to remember that eternal life alone is not the only reason to have faith. Don’t be selfish. Know that as an unbeliever, the fact is whether or not you believe it now, you are a sinner and nobody who has sinned can enter the kingdom of God when they die. Theoretically speaking then, since all men are sinners none of us qualify for the ultimate gift of eternal life. Our sin has to be answered for, and fortunately for us we have such a loving God that He sent his only Son to pay the penalty for our sin for us, so that as long as we have the faith in Jesus that he did die on the cross to cover that sin, we are forgiven and allowed to enter His kingdom. It’s a beautiful picture and seems fair enough to me. I pray that if you are not a believer that you consider this. Without Jesus, the wages of sin is death. Verse John 3:16, probably one of the most famous versus in the Bible, sums it up nicely:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)

The reason I started off on this tangent about faith in this 3 part post is because it is the most important part of my life now. Once I accepted to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and believed he died for my sins, it changed my outlook on life and made every decision I make to glorify Him. I don’t care about what I want in this world anymore because the world doesn’t care what I want and will lead nowhere. I serve God and enjoy following His will because it’s an honorable thing to do. Someone has offered me eternal life and the promise of eternal happiness. It’s a privilege, not a nuisance, to put His wants before my own. I am so thankful to have learned this. Being a sinner myself, I am happy that Jesus is what makes getting up in the morning worth it and let’s me enjoy my time here on earth.

It’s my hope to finish this subject of my “So Called (Christian) Life” tomorrow. I plan on blogging a bit about why the Bible itself and Church is such an important part of my life, as these are the tools God has given my family to shown us His will. Without these two things, along with the Holy Spirit and prayer, we would be lost trying to figure out what God has in store for us. What I won’t get into is what I think is the perfect church. There’s plenty of blogs and places to go to get opinions on that, but I will briefly note what’s important to us in a church, as we’ve been put into the unique situation to find a new church family since moving to Indiana.