Being Partially Christian
For the majority of my life I have claimed to be a Christian. At an early age it seemed like it was the "normal" thing to say. The weird people were the ones that were the agnostic, the atheist, or anything other than someone who said they were a Christian. As I grew older I still felt the same way (not that they were weird, but that I was a Christian). I felt that I believed in Jesus and that I was probably going to heaven because I would never deny that there was a God or that Jesus was real. But was that right? I would dare say those who knew where they stood were better off than I was. Could it be that being a Christian--something many say is the hardest thing to be--is as simple and shallow as an internal, occasional belief?
I certainly don't think so.
As I grew up a bit in maturity and decided to get married, I figured I would really start observing what it means to be a Christian. I attended a local church of Christ in Puyallup, Washington for several weeks before realizing that I had been wrong the entire time.
I realized that being a Christian meant to completely give up my life and everything I had to God. Did that mean I sold all possession? No, it did not. What I mean to give up is the worldly things that I enjoyed--to submit totally to God's will. As I studied more, the more I realized that I could not get enough of the scripture. Have you possibly been through this same feeling? Is it something that consumes your mind all day long? The thing you look forward to immediately when you open your eyes?
Do you think that the reason you may not feel this way is because you have yet to truly give everything to Jesus? Do you think it could be because you have been as deceived as I was growing up? Does your spare time revolve around scripture, or do you have to "make time" for it.
Some things that Jesus said about following Him:
"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:27).
"No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62).
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14).
What this all points to is that living according to the kingdom of God is not as simple as a belief that He exists. It means that you have to give your all to Jesus and to following Him for your entire life. It is free, but it is certainly not cheap. Your salvation has been bought by the blood of Christ.
When the Word takes hold of you, you become so intrigued by what it holds because everything it has to say to you leads to life in a new way. You can see things from a fresh perspective and are able to focus on what is truly important. If you read these verses and thought that maybe you have been neglecting the truth of the scripture, maybe it is time to dig back in and find those hard truths. I am confident that the words of Christ will never let you down. They will never fail you. But you have to commit to the Word. As always, if there is any way that I can help you, please let me know.
Until next time.