Sure, that may seem like a goofy question. Those of you who call yourselves Christians already are answering the rote answers in your mind.
“Of course I believe in Jesus.”
You’re scrolling through creeds and doctrines and theology. Perhaps you’ve read books like ‘The Case for Christ’ and have the proof stacked up in your brain to bring a verbal onslaught to nay-sayers who would try to sway your precious beliefs.
But come on… really… Do you really believe in Christ?
You believe in your friends right? You know them. You listen to them (at least to some degree) when they have something to say to you. You’ve touched their lives and they have touched yours. And in that friendship, that connection continues. You speak daily. You effect each other daily.
Now, let’s look at our so-called friendship with Jesus.
Are you His friend? Do you talk daily? Now, I’m not talking about simply reading stuff He said 2000 years ago, though it’s essential. It’s even more essential to be living day to day hearing His voice.
When you hear His voice, do you actually listen? Because from what I’ve seen, many of us don’t.
I just read Mark straight through over the last week. I read it with the thought in mind that Mark felt that this few pages of information about our risen Lord was all that was essential to introduce us to Him, and to have a relationship ongoing with Him.
The point of Mark is clear and simple. This Jesus comes and calls us. He tells us to give up everything! EVERYTHING! Mark doesn’t leave us any room to think otherwise. His call is to repent, give up everything and follow Him.
Where do we follow him? Wherever He leads. First, to the cross…. then, once we’ve gone there, and the new life starts. Well, Mark sort of left that open, at least he did in the earliest manuscripts. It’s neat really.
This Christ, the King, our Lord, the Son of Man who walked and talked with us is still trying to walk and talk with us now. HE REALLY REALLY IS ALIVE! I know Him. I’ve met Him. In fact, we’ve been talking all day! For example, just a few hours ago, I had to talk to a brother about something that was very very uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say. But Christ did, and out it came. It was like I was just sitting there. I showed up, and Christ was in the room because we were all there to hear Him.
Now tell me, would you call someone a friend if the only contact that they clung to with you are things you said years ago? I sure wouldn’t. That’s no friendship at all, that’s blatant unreality.
A lot of professing Christians today are living in that unreality. Christians frequently talk about a personal relationship with Christ, and often will neglect walking and talking with Him, let alone seeking out His living and breathing body in the earth.
Christ doesn’t want that sort of dysfunctional friendship with us any more than we’d want it with anyone around us. He wants a real relationship that lives and breathes and moves with Him, walking and talking with Him just like originally intended when the first breath of life filled the lungs of man.
To me this seems like a big deal. I mean, He’s the Son of the Living God wanting to walk and talk with us day in and day out, leading us as a people into all truth. The creator of the universe made a way for us to BE WITH HIM! So, when He talks about giving up everything, (and that ‘everything’ is anything that is between us and Him) it really isn’t all that bad when you weigh it out.
I’m not saying this to be sarcastic, but to give you a picture of what we all have at stake. We can pick our pitiful little lives where we try to be great or give up in depression… or… be joined to the very being who breathed into our lungs.
And by the way, He put that breath in you, not to make one more automaton, but because HE LIKES YOU! And when He made you, He was expressing a part of Himself that He wanted the whole world to see.
In my estimation, it’s been worth any and every single thing I’ve given up to dance at my Father’s feet.