I was asked last week what I think the next decade of my life will look like. I anticipate these:
- Finish well/Retire from paid ministry
- Continue in global influence most of this time, with regular travel
- Increased focus and time in supporting and encouraging our children and their families
- New opportunities to live out my faith in Christ and better testify to others of His love and grace
This last one has been on my heart recently, as I reflect on the differences in faith systems. So many have requirements to win the favor of their god/s or reach a divine state, such as
- Bring food and drink to the shrine
- Give to the poor
- Outward ritual for inner transformation
How is our faith in Christ different? For starters, when a person comes to Christ they are set free from the requirements of their previous beliefs. The burden to prove one’s worthiness to a god is no longer the issue. Accepting Christ’s offer to believe in him is all that is needed to make one acceptable to God. Look at these verses from Romans:
But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. (Rom 4:5)
So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. (Rom 4:16a)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (Rom 5:1)
Works are not a requirement to win his favor. Works are the outcome of joy in being set free from the burdens of your previous beliefs.
The story of Jesus Christ is called Good News for a reason. You’re free from the burden of proving yourself worthy over and over and over again! You don’t have to work and hope God accepts you. When you accept Jesus’s offer to you through faith, that makes you acceptable to Him. This truth is understandable anywhere in the world, in any culture. That’s because every culture has a concept of sin:
Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. (Romans 2:14-15)
Every culture has right and wrong. So when Christ is made plain in any culture, those who believe in Him are forgiven of their sins and the works burden is lifted.
My next decade? I hope to become better at understanding other ways people try to explain the world and our existence on earth. Along the way, I will step into opportunities or create them to testify of the better Way and Truth of Jesus Christ. That fits whether I’m traveling around the world, or spending time at home with family. Christ is worth talking about wherever I am.
Til next week,