Can We Just Get Back to Jesus?
I watched Billy Graham's funeral last week 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 that came in contact with Billy Graham who 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 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. 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
Everything I need to know about Jesus is in this book, and it is the infallible Word of God. My pixies love to blair 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.” Amen, pixie.
Everything I need to know for life is contained in this book. It is His story, and it has the power to change lives. Whenever worry clouds my mind, I can memorize a Scripture on fear and cling to it throughout the day. I can find answers to the questions my roving mind wanders over.
“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
I need to make time daily to be in this book, saturating 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 have 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. Typically, I’ve got a million and one things on my mind 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. Walls that have been erected over the years slowly begin to crumble as we break bread together.
Breaking bread together allows opportunities to share the Bread of Life, the One Who causes us to never hunger. Every single soul is hungry in one way or the other: starved for love, affection, affirmation, peace, joy. We have this hope to share…
“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.
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 friends will gather for my wake, 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.