(Post by: Lilly Hobbs)
I am prone to think that one’s lifestyle amidst the Christmas season speaks great volumes as to their priorities and what they value the most year-round.
Maybe you are weary of reading the same challenge on this Blog, but it will continue to remain the same. There is no better time than right now to get serious about living a life completely sold out to Jesus. I don’t mean start living for Jesus today and then stop the day after Christmas on December 26th.
No, what I am proposing is that we start now and never, ever stop.
After doing ministry for the extremely short amount of time that I have, there is one thing that commonly seems to be the reason for why people claim they just can’t follow Jesus. The reason is this… They don’t have time.
They don’t have time to study their Bible. They don’t have time to spend in quiet prayer and communion with the Lord, or to disciple someone else. It’s why they can’t commit themselves to spending Sunday mornings at church with other believers or a Bible Study small group during the week.
I’m here to tell you that we’ve gotten it all wrong. As a Church, and as individuals. We’ve gotten it so wrong.
The question is not do we have time for Jesus, it’s will we MAKE time for Jesus?
If Jesus isn’t our life, then we will spend it in hot pursuit of the world. The world doesn’t “take breaks” so that you can spend time with Jesus, your family, in your Bible, etc. Its primary goal is to keep you as far away as possible from each one of those important things.
Will we choose to engage with the story that is unfolding right before our eyes? Do we long to rise up and open our eyes to His coming this Christmas season and in this New Year that is before us? Just as Gideon, Mary, Joseph, Noah, Peter, Simeon, Micaiah, and many other heroes of the faith all had to choose whether or not to engage with the story before them, so do we.
We will either build the Kingdom or make a life, but have no doubt, we cannot do both.
Deuteronomy 10:20 says, “Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His name.”
I have always loved the “holding fast” part of that verse. Holding fast to the Lord means loving Him, following Him, diligently obeying His Word, devoting ourselves only to Him, and serving Him. Holding fast requires us to not compromise in our relationships, behaviors, or anything that might pull us away from our covenant with God.
Being so content with our small and humble place in His story, with our only desire being that we never forsake the roles we must play in it as the pages turn. When Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she would bear the Son of God in her womb, she never asked “why”. She only asked “how”.
She longed to engage in God’s miraculous story.
Proverbs 4:4 says, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live.” Even in the New Testament, holding fast is an appeal, complemented by a conditional promise of life. Paul said, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
My longing for Christians living in this generation is that they would simply give their yes. That they would say yes to engaging in the story before them, not forsaking their role in it. Will you be bold enough to hold fast to Jesus though everyone else’s grasp is firmly placed on the temporary and fleeting things of this world?
Start by making time for the One who always has time for you. Give your yes.
FROM EAST TO WEST, FROM SHORE TO SHORE
From east to west, from shore to shore,
Let every heart awake and sing
The holy Child Whom Mary bore,
The Christ, the everlasting King.
Behold, the world’s Creator wears
The form and fashion of a slave;
Our very flesh our Maker shares,
His fallen creature, man, to save.
For this how wondrously He wrought!
A maiden, in her lowly place,
Became, in ways beyond all thought,
The chosen vessel of His grace.
She bowed her to the angel’s word
Declaring what the Father willed,
And suddenly the promised Lord
That pure and hallowed temple filled.