Monday, April 25, 2011

A MOMENTARY DEPARTURE

Just for today, I wish to leave the realm of politics to take a moment to tell you something about myself.

WHAT DO I MEAN WHEN I SAY, "I'M A CHRISTIAN?"

Words have meaning.

If words don't have meaning, then all attempts at communication are bound to fail.

When I was in school, my Literature teacher encouraged us to find the author's meaning in his writings.

When I studied under some rather liberal professors, it was not the authors' meanings that I was encouraged to find, but what the writing seemed to mean to me.

That was a travesty.

Some have tried to come to this blog and dictate what it means to be a Christian, mostly in an attempt to make themselves look better, or somehow "good enough" for whatever it was that they wanted to look "good enough" for.

But the meaning of being a Christian is not open for conjecture or political correctness, or some imagined philosophical bent.

Being a Christian has a meaning ascribed to it by the one who invented it, the Creator God.

So, having just come out of Resurrection Sunday (which some call "Easter"), let me define for you what I mean when I say that I am a Christian.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I am not shouting that 'I am clean living. I'm whispering 'I was lost, but now I'm found and forgiven.'

I was lost to the Creator God and through the death, burial and resurrection of Messiah, Christ, named, Jesus, I am found to Him and belong to Him forever.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I don't speak of this with pride. I'm confessing that I stumble and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I'm not trying to be strong. I'm professing that I'm weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I'm not bragging of success. I'm admitting I have failed and need God to clean my mess.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I'm not claiming to be perfect. My flaws are far too visible, but God believes I am worth it.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I still feel the sting of pain. I have my share of heartaches, so I call upon His name.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I'm not holier than thou, I'm just a simple sinner who received God's good grace, somehow!

When I say,  'I am a Christian,' I am proclaiming my trust in, and only in, the finished work of Christ at the cross of Calvary and His resurrection.

When I say, 'I am a Christian,' I am trusting by faith that I will spend eternity with God, not because of my worthiness, but because of Christ's.

Confucius is dead.

The Buddha is dead.

Muhammad is dead.

But my Christ is alive.

He stands ready to receive as His own anyone who will come to Him with open heart and mind.

He will enable you to know in the depth of your being that though you die, you will live forever when you receive His gracious offer of salvation.

ADDENDUM: At 10:00 AM today I received word that my good friend, Charlie Warber, was struck by a car and killed yesterday afternoon.

Charlie and I had lunch together almost every Thursday. We were very close.

I am sad to the depths of my being for having lost Charlie, but am joyful in the knowledge that he knows the Savior of whom I spoke above.

I will miss Charlie. I will miss our lunches together. I will miss our good times together.

For years I was in Christian radio, and Charlie loved my sign-off every day.

And so, for him, I repeat it now:

"HAVE A GREAT DAY. MAKE IT A CHRIST-FILLED DAY, AND IF I DON'T SEE YOU HERE, I'LL SEE YOU OVER THERE."

See you soon, Charlie.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.   (John 11:26)

8 comments:

Susannah said...

Amen, amen, amen. Thank you, Joe~

Mark said...

Very good explanation, Joe. I sometimes wonder if I am a Christian at all. I think to myself, "Will I hear the words,'depart from me you worker of iniquity' or will I hear the words, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant'?", and it scares the hell out of me. Literally.

A pastor I once confided in told me this:

"If it worries you, you're a Christian. Unbelievers wouldn't worry about it. Either they are so arrogant to believe they are when they aren't, or they don't care."

Condolences to you on the loss of your good friend. I know you will miss him.

Isn't it comforting to know where he is now? Unbelievers do not feel that comfort. Sad.

Joe said...

Susannah: Hallelujah!

Mark: Your pastor was wise.

Thank you...I will miss him greatly.

Susannah said...

Oh, so sorry to hear about Charlie. Have said prayers for you and for his family.

Leticia said...

AMEN, BROTHER!! Whew! That was fantastic.

tammy said...

So sorry for your loss. I too am grateful for the knowledge of our Savior. I don't know how I'd get through this life without my faith.

David Wyatt said...

Good post bro. Joe. I am so thankful for Jesus. death & resurrection. If not for Him, I'd be so lost. Praise His name. The only way I know I won't hear "depart from Me.." from Him is that I've done the will of His Father, which is to believe (trust) in Him as He said in John 6:40. Praise God it's that simple. Otherwise I'd have no hope (Isa.64:6). All praise to JESUS! God Bless you bro. Joe.

val said...

God wants the world to know that the woman of Revelation 12 is now here… God is very precise: A woman delivers the true word John1:1, Rev 12:5, Rev 12:13 who restores Acts 3:21 all things to the world before Christ’s return. This woman exposes the lies of Satan who has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9. This woman creates a new thing in the earth by fulfilling God's promise to Eve Gen 3:15, Jer 31:22, Isa 14:16. She is like unto Moses Acts 3:22, Num 12:3 and she is also like Elijah Matt 17:11 for her witness alone turns the hearts of the fathers to the children Mal 4:5-6 to prepare a people for the Lords return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord Matt 17:3, Luke 9:30. Moses and Elijah are together with the word Matt 17:3. They are all three in this one woman. Woe on those who will not hear Acts 3:23 the true word of God commanded to be written and delivered to the world free of charge, as a witness, at the heel of time from the wilderness Rev 12:6. This true word delivered turns the hearts of the fathers to the children of God by giving the truth that not one child of God will be put in a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer 7:31, Jer 19:5. God created evil Isa 45:7 to teach his children the knowledge of good and evil Rom 8:7, Gen 3:22 so that at their resurrection they become a god Matt 22:29-30, Ps 82:6. Prove all things. Be a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. You cannot rightly judge this unless you read all that has been written first Pro 18:13 http://minigoodtale.wordpress.com Time is short.