“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34)
As a longtime Christian, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that life revolves around you and your relationship with Christ. I laugh as I walk with God because I have a talent for taking good things like service, ministry, school, work, friendships, etc. and turning them into bad things. Simply put, again and again I catch myself elevating and worshipping the creation over the creator by taking good things and idolizing them.
Now this may sound crazy, but it is surprisingly easy to fall into if you have been living in a Christian bubble. In my bubble, I was not stagnant in my faith; in fact, I was quite the contrary. I filled my time with reading the Bible, leading Bible studies, participating in community groups, writing devotionals for work, studying hard at a Christian school, listening to sermons with friends and the list continues. My life was saturated with “good things” that served to grow me in my faith, but in this Christian bubble I missed one very important reality: God came to save the world!
There is a battle going on each day for people’s lives and eternities. How easy is it to grow in the Lord and then forget to allow God’s goodness to overflow out of our lives and into others? After recently watching the movie “The Case for Christ,” which depicts Lee Strobel’s life and his journey from skepticism to faith, I was challenged to think outside myself and my own personal walk with the Lord.
In the movie (which is based on the book of the same name), Lee tells the story of how his wife, Leslie, came to know the Lord and how that spurred him on a journey to save her from this fantasy religion by debunking it once and for all. However, what he did not expect was to come to the end of his journey with nothing but ample evidence that Jesus Christ did in fact rise from the dead. With this, Lee had to decide whether or not he personally believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior of his life.
Spoiler: He ended up becoming a Christian and a dedicated follower of Christ! He wrote his journey down, published it as a book and became a bestselling author and proponent of the faith. He even became a teaching pastor, as his books affected the lives of millions of people. His two children also came to know the Lord and wrote books, like their father, professing Christ to be truth.
In their story, a whole family came to know the Lord because Leslie met and became friends with a neighbor who knew the Lord and answered her questions. We can see how Leslie’s conversion leads to Lee’s journey, which transformed their lives and trickled down to their children’s lives. From there, each one of the Strobel family has made a tremendous and reaching impact for the Lord.
This is God’s math! As a Christian it is so easy to fall into a pattern of just waiting on the Lord and forgetting that our time on earth is precious because we can use it to point others to Christ. He calls us to love one another because love comes from God and He is love. So, this love points directly back to Him! His command for believers to love goes hand in hand with His command to go and make disciples of all nations.
He is waiting because He “wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). God came to save the world; He came for the sick in spirit. As a Christian, the amazing thing is He wants to use you in His plan! He allows us to have a part in pointing others to His goodness. He is the only one that forgives sin and saves lives, but we get to tell others about Him by simply sharing our lives with them.
Just like one neighbor poured into Leslie’s life and created a chain reaction, we never know what God has in store. So take on the day remembering that He wants to use us to save lives!
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