It Matters

I recently was a bystander to a conversation about religious beliefs. It was said that, “It doesn’t matter exactly what you believe, but you should have faith in something.”

If you are reading this I want you to know: it matters what you believe! It matters more than any single other thing matters. For truth to be truth, all other things must be false. I can’t decide that one thing is true, and you decide that another thing is true, and both of us are correct.

Christianity holds the belief to be true that Jesus Christ was crucified, He was buried, and on the third day after his death, He rose from the dead. It holds the belief that Jesus is God’s ONLY Son, and He came to earth born of a virgin. It holds the belief that Jesus lived a perfect life while here on earth and willingly died on that cross in order to take the punishment for sin that mankind could not take for itself. By putting Himself in the Devil’s hands for that moment, He freed all who would believe in Him from the Devil’s grasp forever.

If you call yourself to be a Christian, that means you trust that Jesus did this for YOU. If that trust doesn’t change the way you live your life; if that trust doesn’t make you overflow with such gratitude that you WANT to live your life differently; if that trust doesn’t give you an ache and desire to grow more like Jesus, then you may not truly be saved from eternal hell. Accepting Jesus should compel you to live differently because you understand just what you are saved from. Your life is not your own. And if you believe that it is, and if you believe that God wants you to do whatever you have to in order to be happy, and if you believe that you DESERVE anything, then you don’t get it. And if those words make you angry–then you don’t get it. If you think you can be a Christian who “walks on the wild side” and you think that is OK, then you don’t get it. If someone can look at how you live, listen to the way you talk, and see the things you do and not know that you love Christ, then you might not be saved.

Please don’t take this lightly. It matters what you believe. Your eternity depends on it. And although your good deeds on earth are not what save you, if your belief in Christ hasn’t changed your desire to be less like the world and more like Him, then your belief may be in the wrong thing. Don’t wait until you die to find out you were wrong. Then it will be too late.

The tomb is empty. He is risen. He loves you and He wants you to start loving Him.

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An Integrity Challenge!

mosesI came across this lil image from a teacher whose student listed the Ten Commandments as he remembered them. I love it. I would happily do the nae nae with this kid any time. Then we’ll play outside before we punch Hitler on our way to the bank. And we’ll do it while being kind.

The things we say we value and the things we actually truly value are not always congruent. I can say I value a healthy lifestyle, but if I regularly eat foods that are unhealthy, if I drink things that have no health value, and if I find excuses not to exercise, then really, what I say has no meaning at all.

Integrity is a great word. It means you are whole and undivided in thought, words, and actions.  THE CHALLENGE: Over the next week I am going to make a list of the ten things I would say, right now, that I truly value. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to pay attention to my actual behaviors and see if what I do on a daily basis has integrity with my stated values. I am hopeful that this will bring to light areas where what I say and what I do don’t line up.

If anyone wants to join me in this Integrity Challenge I’d love to hear from you. What ten things do you value? Does your day reflect them?