Tag Archives: Christlike

I Want to Live for Christ

I only have one life … only so many days, only so many hours.

It’s so easy to get caught up in possibilities and dreams, to be overwhelmed by somedays, what ifs, and if onlys.

I can’t do it all.

But so what if I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?

I’m living now … each day, each moment … and I want it to count. Eternally.

I desperately long to hear those words from the Master:

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

I want to live this life trusting Him, serving Him, sharing Him.

For His glory.

Not mine.

Because it’s still not about me. It never has been. It never will be.

I want to stop feeling guilty for the choices that I make … I want to own those choices knowing that I have made them according to the only standard for my life that matters at all. His standard.

Considering the urgings of Paul, I want to

“…live a life worthy of the calling I have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)

I want to live a life worthy of the gospel.

I want to press on toward the goal.

I want to run in such a way to obtain the prize.

If life right now mostly looks like working, worshiping alongside a solid ministry team, studying Scripture, loving on two-year-olds in the nursery, writing, investing in rich friendships, and hanging out in coffee shops than I want to do those things … my things … His things … well. Fully invested in His kingdom work.

I want to live for Christ.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

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{Day 19} Greek Cafes & Knowing Christ

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers”

Romans 8:29 (ESV – emphasis added)

As many of you know, this summer I spent almost three weeks traveling through Greece for a class on Paul’s New Testament Letters. While there were several highlights of the trip (many of which I have already recounted here through words and photos), and my time of both academic and Biblical study was incredible, one of my sweetest memories from the trip had nothing to do with Paul or his letters.

One Sunday afternoon after visiting the ancient Agora in Athens, rather than heading directly back to our hotel before dinner, seven of us decided to take a long(er) and leisurely stroll back through the Plaka area (the shopping district) in hopes of finding an outdoor cafe where we could have some coffee (Greece has the most amazing freddo cappucinos!) and fellowship for a couple of hours. As this is a typical afternoon occurrence in Greek culture, we had no trouble finding the perfect spot similar to the one in the photo above (though that particular cafe is on the Island of Mykonos).

We had the best time just sitting around a couple of tables, relaxing with a cold coffee beverage in hand, sharing stories, engaging in easy conversation, even sitting in (albeit brief) moments of silence, and getting to know one another better. No agenda, no planned format, no pressure … just precious time together.

And when it comes to discerning our {God given} callings, our approach should be similar.

Before we can even begin to understand the details and specifics of our call, we must take the time to simply sit with Christ. To Know Him … closely, personally, intimately … through worship, Scripture, prayer, conversation, and time.

Not just that 15 minutes of a brief devotional and prayer we {sometimes} manage to squeeze in sort of time. Rather that sitting at a Greek cafe in the middle of the afternoon just to Know Him more sort of time … in order to be conformed to His likeness … in order to reflect His glory.

Because the more we know Christ, while it’s not that the specifics of our call don’t matter, they tend to fade into the background of His Gracious Sovereignty. He is before all and over all. And once again, our focus is drawn away from self – from our own call – and we position ourselves to listen, to be ready, and to be used.

For the sake of THE call … the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Missed Opportunity: A DMV Retrospective

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it

to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25:40 (English Standard Version)

 

 

If I could characterize my Thursday by one word, it would be this: STRESSFUL.

Included in the stressful events of my day was a trip to the DMV in order to renew my driver’s license.

Ugghh.

At the DMV, it seems one is guaranteed to see ALL types of people.  People who…

don’t practice proper hygiene (umm…deodorant or toothpaste anyone?),

don’t dress appropriately,

smoke WAY too much,

don’t follow the rules that are posted on every wall (most notably, NO cell phone use past the lobby…),

and people who don’t interact with a complete stranger with the common courtesy that is due to another simply because he/she is a human being.

So, in true awkward-situation-fashion (in which we are all severely lacking in personal space), we mostly sat in silence staring…

at the windows with hideous blue blinds that weren’t even open,

at the uneven industrial white brick walls,

at the exposed wires that looked like they could spark a massive electrical fire if only given the chance,

at the empty desks that made you wonder why there weren’t more officials working,

and at the glaring red numbers counting down to the one on your ticket.

But although no one may have noticed, in my silent staring, I missed an opportunityAn opportunity to be obedient to my calling.  An opportunity to get past the smell, to look beyond the inappropriate clothing, and to ignore the rudeness.  An opportunity to show interest in, compassion for, and love toward a person.  To “one of the least of these.”  To someone in need.  Of understanding, of healing, of a Savior.

And you know what the worst part of it was?  I knew that I was missing an opportunity…and I let it pass anyways.  I was already stressed, was feeling anxious about and uncomfortable in my surroundings, was attempting to cherish a few moments of reading a book that wasn’t even that great, and I did NOT feel like interacting. with. a. sole. 

If I had opened myself to a conversation with one of the men or women waiting beside me in that room, would it have led to a discussion of the Gospel message of Christ?  Not necessarily.  But would it have allowed someone else to experience the love of Christ through a simple exchange of thoughtful words?  Very likely, yes…even if they were unable to acknowledge it as such.  

About an hour and a half after I first entered the line at the DMV, I was out of the building with a temporary license.  But I was also out with a missed opportunity to – in the very least – display the character of Christ.

Have you ever been made keenly aware of a missed opportunity to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ with someone else?

If so, I leave you with the same challenge I now face: 

Will it make a difference the next time an opportunity is presented?