October 19, 2014

Why Be A Christian? Jesus You Are All Compassion, Pure And Wondrous Love You Are

--image from advancingthekingdom.net
This is one of my favorite lines from the great hymn,
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.
Why would someone choose to be a Christian?
You must really make this choice for yourself. It is deliberate
and no one can do it for you.  No one "inherits" Christianity.
It cannot be passed down like money, property, or heirlooms.
You may inherit the practice of certain Christian traditions, but
 you cannot inherit the status of Christian. As someone has said,
"God has no grandchildren, only children."
You should be able to look back to a place and time in your own life 
 where you made a conscious choice to turn over
 the reigns of your life to God, a time when you admitted you had
 a sin problem you could not solve, a time when you asked God to
 solve it for you. In most cases and barring certain illnesses,
 we remember major events of our lives: finishing school, 
 getting that first job or joining military service,
 marriage, buying that first home or renting that first apartment.
 It's perfectly reasonable that we remember turning over control 
 of our lives to God, the most important decision we will ever make.
Becoming a Christian isn't the same as joining a church or getting baptized.
 Those can be positive experiences, but they do not substitute for salvation
 because salvation is a totally personal "you and God" experience. Perhaps
 you were baptized as an infant, in which case that baptism wasn't your choice.
 Perhaps you joined a church because you were lonely, or liked certain social
 activities the church offered, or because a spouse or parent belonged to that
 church. Those aren't necessarily bad reasons to join a church, but those
 reasons don't address your relationship with God.
Some have been told to become a Christian because Christianity assures
prosperity, health, and what the world generally calls "success."
Trust me, it's not true because Scripture doesn't teach this and
history disproves it.
Some have been told to become a Christian to avoid Hell. Maybe you will 
avoid Hell (which, by the way, I believe is a real place), but fear never
motivated anyone to consistent goodness or greatness. If Hell, or avoiding it,
is your focus, you have missed the entire reason why people have sought
a relationship with Jesus for over 2,000 years.
Some have been told become a Christian because Christians are "better" than
other people and, of course, you want to be among "the best."  Jesus
constantly taught against pride, judgment of others, and haughtiness.
He never invited anyone to follow Him based on feeling superior to others.
In fact, during His time here, He often sought out  and embraced those 
who were on the outskirts of society: the poor, the rejected, 
the weak and the lonely.He had wealthy followers as
well---and still does--but they are  not "better" followers
because of their material advantages.
Hopefully, you have chosen or will choose to become a Christian because
you have received a glimpse of this truth: "Jesus, you are all compassion,
pure and wondrous love you are."
Only someone like this is worthy of your unconditional
allegiance and faith.

It is only to someone like this should you hand over the reigns of your life.

Only God is powerful enough to be "all compassion" and only God is
generous enough to express to us "pure and wondrous love." Whoever you are,
and in whatever condition you find yourself, Jesus waits to express these
things to you and will wait for you as long as you live and will
never withdraw His offer of compassion and love.

That is the reason to become a Christian.

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