By Carol Round
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”— Philippians 3:7-8.
“While world changes, who will change me?” This headline on a recent opinion piece by an area pastor grabbed my attention. Opening his article, the pastor said, “I am a public follower of Jesus. I am only being honest when I admit my growing unease and sense of helplessness as cultural norms drift away from Christian standards.”
With hot-button issues like same-sex marriage and transgender celebrities, many Christians fear where our country is headed. As the author of the article says, “I find myself struggling for some meaningful way to respond to these changes in a manner that best honors the person I profess to serve. How can I, as a Christ-follower, respond like Christ when I disagree with the direction of our culture?”
Has a relationship with Jesus transformed you?
As followers of Jesus Christ, we should be concerned about our country’s direction. However, if we are to respond as Jesus would, we must know Him intimately.
Citing a passage from Brother Lawrence’s book, “The Practice of the Presence of God,” the pastor said, “Lawrence lived in an obscure 17th century European monastery, but his reflections on God have captured the attention of many since, including me. Lawrence’s biographer Joseph de Beaufort used 10 words to describe his friend Lawrence: ‘His love for Jesus Christ changed him into another man.’”
What the pastor said next in his opinion piece should make all Christians reconsider what our cultural changes mean in light of Jesus’ teachings. He said, “If my love for Jesus Christ changed me into another person: I believe I would be bold enough to disagree with people without the need to dislike them. I would find myself more inclined to have compassion on individuals rather than to condemn them over an issue. My fear of change would be arrested by my faith that God has all things well in hand.”
While admitting he hasn’t completely been transformed by Christ, the pastor said he is moving in that direction—albeit slowly. When the Apostle Paul referred to this process, he said in Ephesians 4:13, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”
Commenting on the end of his life, the pastor added, “One day I will choose the inscription for my tombstone. I think it wise to wait until later in life to make a final decision. But if I were to make the call today, one line serves as a summation for what I want my life to look like once all is said and done. But more than wishing for these words to be inscribed on granite, I want them to be engraved on my character: ‘His love for Jesus Christ changed him into another man.’”
Has your relationship with Jesus changed you? Has it prepared you to deal with the changes in today’s culture? If not then only one question remains; are you certain of your eternal destiny? Are you like a slave in bondage or have you been set free from sin? Jesus said in “Mat 11:28, Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. The Bible says, “confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) If you’ve never done that or maybe you need to recommit your life to Him and make Him Lord of your life, not just Savior, then please don’t wait any longer. Ask Him now in a prayer like this:
Father, please forgive me for my many mistakes. I know that I haven’t always been the person that I should be. I accept the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus, for my sin and I ask you to forgive me and help me to live the rest of my life for you. You alone have the answers and can teach me of your perfect plan for my life.
In His name I pray,
Congratulations, if you have prayed this prayer the Bible says, “ Therefore, if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2Cr 5:17)