By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. [2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)]
I have a friend who describes herself as being a “Birth and Resurrectionist.” Her idea of Christianity simply consists of church attendance on Christmas and Easter (maybe), with an occasional funeral or wedding thrown in.
Setting aside the promise of salvation and how we will spend eternity, what would our lives be like if our relationship with Jesus and His church was merely a twice a year event? We’d still have a code of ethics, a sense of right and wrong. Yet knowing what’s right doesn’t mean we do the right thing. When we have a relationship with Jesus, we also get the Holy Spirit to guide (and prod) us through our moral choices. Without Jesus, our sense of worth would depend on things like social status, wealth, education and looks; without those assets, we would feel worthless and unlovable. With Jesus in our hearts, we know we’re worthy of God’s love not because of who we are or what we have but because of who made us. Without Jesus in our lives, the blessing of God’s forgiveness would be missing; we’d be burdened with guilt, regrets and even anger. If we had no relationship with Jesus, we’d miss that wonderful sense of peace that comes from Him. We’d always be searching for the next best thing without ever realizing that we have the best thing right beside us. Without Jesus in our hearts, would we be able to love? Probably, but certainly not with the unconditional love about which Jesus spoke. Finally, without Christ, we’d lose our sense of hope and trust; we’d fight our troubles instead of accepting them with the knowledge that God will get us through them. While salvation is the final reward for our faith in Christ, our daily lives are continually blessed for that faith.
Let us pray for those many “Christians in waiting.” May they accept Jesus as their Lord and come to know the joy and peace that can be theirs when, instead of occasionally visiting church, they have a daily relationship with our Savior. May they enjoy the rewards of Christianity that come both in this life and in the next.