Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6).

"Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love. How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the truth, just as the Father commanded" (2 John 3-4).

"Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. Some of the brothers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your faithfulness and that you are living according to the truth. I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth" (3 John 2-4).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Be fully dependent

“Dependence is a dirty word.” That summarizes several comments posted on my Facebook status. My status read, “In life, you have two choices: either become independent or fully dependent on Jesus.”

The unbelieving world deems the college years a period when youth should become independent. As usual, the world is wrong.

I, a dependent college student, wager the college years are an opportunity to become utterly dependent on the Lord Jesus. Yes, students usually leave home and family; In Chicago, I’m 600 miles away from mine. Sure, they often become self supporting, more responsible and mature. Of course, battle plans and personal goals are refined. However, independence should never be the aim of a Jesus-follower. He calls His disciples to complete reliance on Him.

Christ-loving students should expect college to be a stretching, painful experience wherein the Lord of Glory trims the fat from their lives. I propose God does this on purpose. That way, absolute surrender to Jesus and connection with the Body of Christ arise as the only antidotes to our need.

Let’s euthanize the myth that students should church hop and sample as many local assemblies as possible. Plug in. Be dependent on Christ’s Body. Be faithful. Commit yourself to a local church family as soon as possible. You’ll be obedient to Jesus and set yourself up to experience the operation of spiritual gifts in the context He intended.

If I aim to become dependent on Christ, I must learn to redeem the time for “the days are evil” (Eph. 5:16; Col. 4:5). Every second two people die, and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Unless of course, I surrender to Jesus and in the power of His Spirit declare the Gospel in and out of season, making the most of every opportunity (Acts 1:8; 2 Tim. 4:2).

A dependent disciple of Christ is driven by the will of God and not the needs of man. One who attempts to meet everybody’s needs commits ministerial suicide. Those who depend on Jesus must be attentive to the Holy Spirit’s voice minute to minute and do what He says.

I am dependent on the only Source, who can always provide (Take that, the world, the flesh, and the Devil!). And I plan to keep growing in that dependence until the day I see Him, Face to face.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fleshing out faith

“Let’s quit our jobs and sell our houses,” they exclaimed with childlike joy. “No more sorrow. No more pain. Soon that’ll all be behind us!” They were certain about it. Jesus would be returning that very year, and the followers of Edgar C. Whisenant had 88 reasons neatly organized in a pamphlet to prove it. With their worldly possessions forsaken, little pamphlets in hand, and their eyes fixed on the heavens, they gathered expectantly to watch and wait.

That was 1988. They were wrong.

Some may scoff, “How stupid they were! Hadn’t they heard, ‘No one knows the day nor the hour’?” Whisenant, a Bible student and former rocket scientist, apparently miscalculated. Though I admire their zeal, they lacked much knowledge. Nuggets of truth can be mined from their foolish mistake. First off, a true believer in Jesus ought to be expectant.

Do Jesus’ followers read the Bible with the newspaper in their other hand? Is there expectation for Christ to fulfill His promises? Do we believe His Word enough that we look for its fulfillment in the news? Is the Bible followed as a treasure map (After all, a cross marks the spot where life-giving treasure is found.)? Or is it stored on a dusty shelf and treated like an obsolete history textbook?

If the Word is alive, then it must be practiced daily. Jesus lives; let’s live accordingly.

With age, human beings become either stagnant ponds of knowledge or channels of living water. The difference lies in minute-to-minute obedience to the Holy Spirit. Intimacy with Jesus cultivates a life of freedom wherein Bible truth is continuously applied. I'm living it. I can attest. It's dynamic, on fire, and soaked through with love.

Believers should not try to guess the year Christ will return. But genuine belief in the Bible will produce a lifestyle that declares, “He’s coming back today!” Those who claim to live in Him “must walk as Jesus did” (1 Jn. 2:6). Join me! Let’s flesh out our faith.