Becoming a Christian…accepting Christ as Savior…being born again---whatever words you use to describe or define your relationship with God, they denote a commitment. In aligning yourself with Jesus, you commit to faithfully being obedient to him.
But are you? Are you truly committed? Or is your relationship with Jesus like your membership at the fitness club…in name only? Jesus wants… no… He expects…even demands more from us than a name-only commitment. Time and again, we read in God’s Word that to be a Christian is who you are—not what you do.
Life is busy. I know that. But you cannot allow your life to become too busy to recognize, communicate, and serve your Savior, Jesus. It starts with an attitude of acknowledgment.
21"For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:21)
When you acknowledge Jesus as the giver of life and all its blessings, you will be more inclined to…
Give thanks throughout the day. Give thanks for your home as you put away the laundry, empty the dishwasher, flip on the lights, and feel the water run down your back as you shower.
Be more aware of what you allow into your home—tv shows, music, books, social media, etc.
8"Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8)
Don’t just live life—pray it. Pray for wisdom. Pray for answers. Pray for guidance.
5"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. 7Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. 8It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:5-8)
When you make time for Jesus in your home, it doesn’t require you to find extra hours in the day. It simply means including Jesus…making Him a part of each part of your day by:
Jesus warns us against being lukewarm (Revelation 3:16). Don’t let this be you. Make time for Jesus all day, every day.
"19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Jesus spoke these words to His disciples just before He returned to heaven. His disciples…fishermen, a tax collector, an anti-government radical, and a man who could have been from Missouri (he had to see it to believe it). Do you notice that none of these men were training to be in the ministry before Jesus called them? That didn’t matter, though. When Jesus called, they answered. They were willing to make time for Jesus while they worked.
They made time for Jesus at work by being like Jesus at work. You can, too.
Your commitment to Jesus is real and effective at work when you:
~ Refuse to participate in office gossip and backstabbing.
29"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." (Ephesians 4:29)
~ Give your best efforts to your work.
23"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…" (Colossians 3:23)
~ Be above reproach. And that includes not taking office supplies because “They’ll never miss them” or “They owe me that much.”
28"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." (Ephesians 4:28)
~ Make sure that whatever career path you choose will not dishonor God or cause anyone to doubt the genuineness of your proclaimed faith.
31"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31)
As a Christian, you are a reflection of Jesus to the unbeliever and unsaved. Who you are is who they think Jesus is. And to your brothers and sisters in Christ and the church as a whole, you are to set an example of faithful obedience. In other words, when you make time for Jesus, you are taking time to:
Think before you speak. Consider the outcome of your actions before you act.
Remember that your lifestyle and your choices are a reflection of your heart... your true heart.
I want you to think back to the day you took (and passed) your driver’s test. Oh, what a glorious day! What a milestone! What freedom!
It didn’t just happen, though, did it? You practiced driving. You drove (no pun intended) your parents nuts, asking them to let you drive whenever the car left the garage. You learned to back out of parking places. You learned to yield, merge, wait your turn at 4-way stops, and all those things that come naturally to you now. You practiced because, more than anything else, you wanted to hear the words, “You passed.”
Now I want you to think about what happened after you heard those two magic words and had your license in hand (goofy picture and all). What did you do? Did you throw caution to the wind and start driving on your own terms instead of continuing to obey the rules of the road?
No! You don’t because you know it doesn’t work like that. In order to keep the privilege of having a driver’s license, you have to know and follow the rules. Well, guess what? Being a Christian is a lot like driving. Why? Because after you become a Christian, you can’t just go your own way; living life on your terms. You have to live like Jesus. And the only way to live like Jesus is to make time to know Him up-close and personal-like.
Jesus tells us to come to Him in prayer and that He will speak, answer, console, and counsel—pray short, simple prayers throughout your day.
Pray as if Jesus is by your side having a heart-to-heart, one-on-one conversation… because you are.
Use your talents to serve others in the name of Jesus.
Be a part of your church—more than just a Sunday seat-warmer.
When you make time for Jesus, you must follow the rules for Godly living. You can’t do that, though, unless you know what Jesus’ definition and expectations for Godly living are. And the only way you can know these things is to make your commitment to him a priority…your top priority.
Years ago, a young country doctor who was just starting his career was faced with an outbreak of typhoid in the small farming community he settled in. Within the first few days of arriving and ‘putting out his shingle,’ nearly a dozen people came to see him—all of whom had typhoid. He knew what it was. He knew how to treat it. The question was, had he gotten there in time?
Unfortunately for three families, the answer was no. One family lost two of their three small children to the disease by the end of the young doctor’s first month there. He was devastated. In his heart and mind, he was a complete failure. He tried to move beyond the emotional pain and defeat, but he couldn’t. A few months later, without saying a word, he left to live out the rest of his life working as a farmer and determined not to tell anyone what he really was.
Fast-forward a few years. The young doctor fell in love and got married. Before long, the couple was expecting a baby. When the time came for the baby to be born, he called for the local midwife to help his wife deliver their child because not even she (his wife) knew of her husband’s medical profession.
There were complications, and the midwife told the man that he had to choose whether to save his wife or the baby. When he was told why he was being made to choose, he knew it didn’t have to be that way. He knew it was possible to save both mother and child. But did he dare try? What if he failed…again? No! He couldn’t let his selfish fears keep him from sharing life with the woman he loved and their child. So without saying a word, he went into the room where his wife was lying, took matters into his own skilled hands, and within minutes, was handing his son to his wife, who was both amazed and thankful for the man who was her husband.
We are all too quick to give the excuse of being too busy to take the time to share the Good News of the Gospel with others. But is it just that? Or is it fear? Embarrassment? Timidity? Feelings of inadequacy? Whatever it is, it’s rubbish!
Look what the Bible says about this:
7"For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7)
22"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." (James 1:22)
When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are empowered with the Holy Spirit. You have no reason to be afraid, shy, or incapable of being able to show and tell others the Good News. The Holy Spirit will do it for you, working through you. Just like the doctor had to get out of the way of his own fears and uncertainties, you have to get out of the way and let Jesus work in and through your life.
Paper or plastic—are you even offered that choice anymore?
Debit or credit—that’s a phrase we’re all familiar with.
Sweet or unsweet…tea, that is.
We are all faced with multiple choices every single day of our lives. We make most of them without putting much (if any) thought into what we’re doing. It’s as if we are on auto-pilot. But why do you make the choices you make?
The answer to that question is simple: Our choices are based on our wants or desires. Now I know some of you are shaking your head in disagreement. Some of you are saying that many of your choices are out of necessity. You’d rather use the rent money for a vacation, but you don’t have a choice. You don’t want to take money out of savings to fix the air conditioner in your house, but you have to.
No, you don’t. You don’t have to fix the air conditioner. People lived for centuries without it. You may have even grown up in a house without it, yet here you are, alive and healthy. So no, you don’t have to fix it. You choose to fix it. And as for rent vs. a vacation, you don’t have to pay the rent, but you don’t want to suffer the consequences of not doing so…so you do.
When you make time for Jesus, it’s a choice. It’s also a choice that is only yours to make.
Whether you make time to be the person Jesus has called you is up to you. It is up to you to make it a priority in your life…or not.
Your food isn’t going to turn cold or rancid in the time it takes to offer a prayer of thanks.
You won’t be asked to leave a restaurant for praying for your food, either.
You cannot be forbidden from reading your Bible during your lunch hour or while sitting on a bench in the park while your kids play.
Neither the grass nor the lawnmower will rebel if you wait until after church on Sunday to mow the yard.
Your children won’t be banished from society if you refuse to allow them to play sports on Sundays instead of attending church.
The laundry will still be there, and the dog won’t suffer if you spend an hour or two serving on a ministry team or attending a Bible study once or twice a week.
And do you want to know something marvelous? Jesus promises that if we seek Him first, He will bless us with all these other things (less stress, time to get things done….) It’s true! Jesus promises us that, and when He makes a promise, He keeps it. So as you plan your day—no…, plan your life—remember this:
33"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." (Matthew 6:33)
Grace and peace,
CommentsHave your say about what you just read! Please leave us a comment in the box below.