Monday, June 21, 2010

Does Jesus Live Here?

It seems that there is a regular trend to publish books seeking to prove that God does not exist. Recent books in this genre include Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ and Christopher Hitchens’ ‘God is Not Great’. However, instead of providing empirical data to prove God cannot exist, the writers invariably point to the acts of the followers of the different faiths as examples to prove their point. Some of the examples used are acts by the Christians in history such as religious persecution by the church, fleecing of money by Christian evangelists, irrational comments made by Christian figures, etc. Their choice of examples reminds us how important it is that our Christian walk matches up with our Christian talk.

To live in a blameless manner that will not detract from our Christian witness, we really need to depend on God’s power. Right at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, when Jesus concluded his Great Commission to us, he also gave us this promise “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt 28:20b). Jesus’ last words on earth reminds us that however good our intentions are, however great our gifts may be, all that they would be useless without the power that Christ offers through His continuing presence in our lives.

The goal of our lives is to become like our Master Jesus. Our gifts and resources are not our life’s centerpiece but God’s means towards our achieving this goal. Therefore, to achieve his goal, let us be bold and ask God to give us a witnessing lifestyle since that is how Christ lived. We can start this process by praying daily. Pray specifically about our attitudes toward our work and our colleagues. God listens and responds, and because he does, prayer changes things. Through prayer, we attain God’s perspectives which transport the acts of our daily lives from the temporal and physical world into the spiritual world. We can also start each day right by reading God’s Word to strengthen and encourage us. We reflect on what we read and then pursue ways to apply and obey it throughout the day. We also need to give priority to relationships. We get so distracted by the busyness of daily life that we marginalize and brush aside relationships. Relationships matter so let us give up some of our daily activities to build and reinforce our relationships, both with God and with our fellow man.

Ultimately, we must always remember our lives belong to God. As mentioned earlier, nothing that we have or have been given in this life is ours to own and use as we like. Not our gifts, not our resources and definitely not our children. Instead, we are stewards commanded by God to share what we have with those who do not have. If we make that choice to live with God at the center of our lives, we make it possible for him to use our lives to impact our surroundings. We will then be able to offer a pure version of Christian life, one that says ‘Jesus lives here’. This life will not a watered-down version which offers so much food for criticism to the detractors of our faith. It will be a life that will offer a life-changing invitation to come, see and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour.

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