What a great time to be a Christian!
Yeah. It is a fan-flipping-tastic time to be a follower of the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6).
You don’t think so?
Okay, I can see where you may feel discouraged, anxious, or fearful right now. We’re approaching a year of a global health pandemic along with egregious nonsense like cancel culture, false teaching, mass intolerance and other rhetoric that is full of hate and division. What’s up is down, what’s right is wrong, and what used to be good is now deemed as bad, ignorant, or unloving. On top of it all, the United States has a new leader in (governmental) power.
At first glance, it appears like the numerous wildfires that sparked sporadically over the last twenty years have spread into one gigantic, uncontainable inferno. All hell seems to have been let lose as certain people groups scour for control in a world that feels very out of control.
Alright. When I read the text I just wrote, it does seem very disheartening. But friend, have we forgotten that God has not left His throne?! He is still the Supreme Authority as Maker of the Universe. None of any of what we’re experiencing is of any surprise to Him. Rather, this is a wake-up call to those who were under the illusion that they had any right, say or dominion over anything in the first place.
So yes – I do believe the present day makes for an EXTRAORDINARY day to be a Christian.
With Christ, you don’t have to fall for the faux narrative that the world has all of a sudden gone to hell and a hand basket. (Hello! This world was always crazy and spinning out of control! This world never was and never will be some type of kumbaya utopia of rainbows, unicorns and genderless humans. Perfect paradise isn’t possible this side of eternity! And nonsense will always make NO SENSE whether on earth or in heaven 🙂 ).
It may feel like the worst of times but take heart, friend – this is the BEST of TIMES!
The time is NOW to RISE UP and BE THE CHURCH! We’ve been too comfortable sipping on our oatmilk lattes, wearing our coordinating athleisure outfits, checking our Apple watches and planning our next Airbnb getaways. We’ve been drifting through life in a hazy blur of noise and distraction for far too long. It’s time to start living life as it was meant to be lived!
The way to clean up some of the world’s messes is by actively, intentionally and purposefully living out the message! (We do still believe in it, don’t we? If so, we shouldn’t be afraid to proclaim it. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” ~ Romans 8:31)
I don’t want to sugar-coat it – it’s not going to be easy. In fact, it’s going to be hard, tiring, frustrating, and at times, uncomfortable. But you must persist. The next generation is depending on you to practice what you preach – in thought, word and action.
Lord, help us.
Here are 5 ways to make the most of your days:
- In this loud, chaotic world, we’ve gotten comfortable, complacent and confused: It is nearly impossible to be confident in your calling when the noise is so deafening you cannot hear a shout, let alone, a whisper. If you want to silence the noise (in your head, around you), you must prioritize quiet time with the Lord, studying His Word (Matthew 6:6) and mediating on His truth. Even Jesus took a break from the crowds and the disciples so He could retreat and refresh (Matthew 14:22-23). By intentionally carving out time each day to spend with the Lord, you can rest assure that God is in control (1 Chronicles 29:11-12), you are not alone (Isaiah 41:10), He has good plans and purposes for your life (Ephesians 2:10), and His Word is the foundation of truth (Proverbs 30:5, 2 Timothy 3:16) in a world that is infiltrated with lies (John 8:31-47).
- Stop trying to please the masses or you will miss out on so many opportunities: Cancel culture is real and it is unacceptable, unloving, and intolerant (which is completely against the cultural buzzword of tolerance, btw). If your goal is to please other people rather than God, then you will never preach the gospel in its entirety. Why? Because the gospel is offensive! (Think about it: who wants to hear that they are not enough, are dead in their sins, are in need of a Savior, etc.) The message of the gospel hurts before it heals. It’s ironic, really, that the message that unites and gives life is initially received as a gut-punch to the soul that divides the world against the Word, until the unchanging, powerful, and absolute truth penetrates hardened hearts and ambiguous logic. The gospel disrupts tensions, breaks chains and restores lives. So, let’s vow to speak the truth in love regardless of the circumstance (Ephesians 4:15, 1 John 3:18). People may be upset. Be okay with that.
- Live on mission, going about the Father’s business and NOT your own busyness: Everyone wants to be seen, heard, and known. Everyone desires a life of meaning and purpose but too often people are running around trying to seek fulfillment in empty things that were never meant to be full. What happens when people are loading things onto their plate that were never meant to be there or when they take off on a wild goose chase trying to hunt down what they aren’t supposed to catch? They live a life without direction, like a chicken with its head cut off these people are living aimlessly when their lives were meant to be pointed toward a specific target. To live a life on mission, you must allow the Father’s work to be done in you so the Holy Spirit can flow through you (John 14:26). When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you receive the Holy Spirit (Romans 10:9-10, Acts 2:38, Romans 8:9). That means you receive His power, strength (Philippians 4:13) and fruit (Galatians 5:22-23). You are capable to do the work assigned to you because He is able to do all things through you. But do you believe that? That is the honest question you need to ask yourself.
- Quit loving this life so much: Jesus said, “Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” (John 12:25-26) Chances are good that you have a good life – a roof over your head, financial means to buy food and other luxuries, and people who love you. If you place value or preference on any thing other than God, then you are worshipping an idol (i.e. elevating yourself or something created over the Creator, see Leviticus 26:1 and 1 John 5:21 for a few of the many Biblical references to idols). It’s a hard pill to swallow but it is the truth. Culture desires for the created to worship other things of creation. I hate to say it but when you focus on yourself or your own wants or needs above the God who created everything, you are being selfish. Nothing in this life that is lasting (i.e. eternal) is earned or deserved (Ephesians 2:8) so take a cue from Elsa and let it go! Lose your life (goals, ambitions, desires, plans, control, etc.) and you will end up finding the purpose of life. Simply put – Jesus must be greater, you must be less (John 3:30). Life is, after all, HIS story. When you allow the Author to write His story, you will be a valuable character on the right side of history.
- Make the most of the moment: Whether you like it or not, your days are numbered (Psalm 139:16, Psalm 90:12, James 4:14). You don’t know how much time you have left in your life nor does anyone know if the present generation will be the last. It’s an eerie thought but one that should be in the forefront of your mind in order to emphasize and prioritize urgency and necessity in preaching the gospel. Don’t be overwhelmed by the weight of the work that needs to be done – that isn’t your responsibility. Rather, you are called to make an impact within your sphere of influence (home, work, community, social media, etc.). Real, lasting change starts small and then expands. Like a stone thrown into a body of water, the ripple effect goes outward but starts inward. I strongly believe that if every follower of Christ does their small, though essential, part, true revival can occur. The universal Church is made up of many parts and these unique, diverse, and specific parts are individually required for the entire Body to work as it was intended to (Romans 12:4-5).
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)