Can We Just Get Back to Jesus?
I watched Billy Graham's funeral on March 2 and bawled like a baby. It was a beautiful tribute to a man who lived the Gospel in its purest form. I was so convicted.
The legacy he left was impeccable. The tribute of his children to his life was inspiring. The man on stage preaching to millions was the same man behind doors, their father.
I doubt there is a person who came in contact with Billy Graham and left his presence without first knowing he loved Jesus. All he cared about was Jesus and proclaiming the Word of God.
Why do we make it so hard when it’s so simple? Jesus.
We have become so clever in our blogs, words, and lectures that too often we forget the simple message of the Gospel: Christ came, was crucified, and rose again.
We argue about things that, in the big picture, don’t really matter. Can we just get back to Jesus?
He loves us so much that He died for us. Jesus conquered death and sin, giving us hope. This is the Gospel message. If we have faith in Him, we can be forgiven and reconciled to God.
Yesterday, when preaching on the book of Galatians, our pastor reminded us that the Gospel is Jesus + NOTHING.
I feel a renewed sense of purpose in my life to get back to the basics.
To make it a priority that those with whom I come in contact with don’t leave my presence without knowing I love Jesus.
To live the lyrics of the cross in my everyday.
To remember that the man with the nail-scarred hands is my best friend and also the hope of the whole world.
Here are some simple ways I hope to Get Back To Jesus.
1) Cling to the Word of God
My pixies love to blare the song, “Basic Instructions” by Burlap to Cashmere throughout the house.
This morning Brielle told Tim and I over waffles, “You know Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth spells Bible. It’s because the Bible gives us instructions on how to live.”
Everything I need to know for life is contained in this book. It possesses the power to change lives--my life. Whenever worry clouds my mind, for example, I can memorize a Scripture on fear and cling to it throughout the day.
I can also find answers to questions I have about my faith and how to apply that faith in my daily life. I love this verse in Hebrews.
It reminds me how the Word of God works inside of me, and can literally help me grow in wisdom and understanding.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
But in order for the Word of God to root itself in my heart and saturate my life, I need to make time daily to be in this beautiful book. I need to drench my mind with His truths.
Whether it means losing a few minutes of sleep in order to have uninterrupted time, or carving out a secluded area in the house or outdoors, I must spend time alone in Scripture.
2) Communicate the Gospel
It’s not always at the front of my mind when I meet someone to let them know I have a personal relationship with Christ.
I have a million and one things on my mind that I am trying to juggle, so I may not even notice the barista who hands me my coffee.
How hard is it to smile at them? To take an extra few minutes and begin a conversation? Let them see Christ in any way possible.
What about my neighbors?
People I see on a weekly basis. Do they really know that Christ is my lifeline? Or, am I too busy trying to get things done to take the time to talk to them, or invite them to dinner.
The table can be quite disarming. When we break bread together it's amazing how the walls we like to build come crumbling down.
Breaking bread together allows opportunities to share the Bread of Life.
The world starves for love, affection, affirmation, peace, joy.
And we have this hope to share. Why don't we share it more boldly? Why don't I?
“Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
3) Complete the Enjoyment
A well-known quote by C.S. Lewis found in Reflections on the Psalms describes the following phenomenon,
“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation.
It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . .
The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing.
Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”
I want to enjoy Jesus with every fiber of my being.
I will praise Him in the morning, praise Him when the sun goes down, because He is good.
When something amazing happens, I cannot wait to pick up my phone and call Tim. I am bursting at the britches to brag on one of our pixies or laugh at a good joke.
In the same way, it is not until I express my love for Jesus that it is fully complete.
Whether it is a worship song sung in the privacy of my living room or a simple prayer of love whispered in the woods, I want Him to know that I not only love Him, but enjoy Him.
Get me back to Jesus.
May I cling to the Word of God, as it is His love letter to me, the wisdom I need for living life, and the instructions I need in raising my pixies.
Let no one who knows me doubt for one minute my commitment to You. May they see Jesus, a picture of the Gospel by my love for them and others.
Complete my love, Jesus, as I simply enjoy being Your child.
One day my friends will gather for my funeral, and I want to be ready. Until then, I long to be living the lyrics of the cross, the sweet Gospel message for all mankind.
I simply desire to Get Back to Jesus.