I am slowly but surely making my way through Forgotten God by Francis Chan. It had been awhile since I picked it up and I had lost my place, so I back tracked a bit. Not by chance I am sure, because God encouraged me with the same passage He had the last time I read it. I definitely needed to read it for a second time (and third and fourth…).
“As disciples of Jesus, being in relationship with Him must be our focus. When we allow others’ perceptions of us (or even our perceptions of their perceptions!) to control how we live, we are enslaved. We become entrenched in the ways of this world and do not live as citizens of heaven, which is another kind of kingdom altogether…. When we become overly concerned about our appearance, our spiritual reputation, our coolness, and our acceptance, we are living as citizens of this world rather than as ambassadors.”
I am sure I need to make a copy of this and tape it to my bathroom mirror, the dash of my car, tattoo it to my forearm – you get the drift. I am an ambassador to this world for Christ.
One of the specific things God has been working on with me is my desire to be accepted. The Spirit has been revealing to me how certain behaviors grieve Him, things I wouldn’t have thought twice about before. Things that I may say or do just to fit into certain social situations I find myself in. Things that some if not most people wouldn’t see a problem with. I am so glad that I can see Him at work in my life, and even though it is painful and often tedious, I find myself desiring more of it. I want to take seriously His command to be holy as He is holy. God doesn’t just want us to be good on the outside. He wants us to strive for holiness inside and out. Our flesh does not naturally desire holiness. Holiness is hard. It takes time, energy, and focus, but it is worth it.
One recent day in particular, I wasn’t exactly feeling too chipper about God’s correction. I found myself arguing against the nudge towards holiness that I have come to love. It was like having an argument with God in my head. I was trying to justify myself, and His correction was short and sweet. “Do you love me?” was what came to my mind. Of course, I thought, and then it set in. I found myself wondering how far I was willing to follow Him, what I was willing to do, how much truth I was willing to share.
Does my life reflect my love for Christ? Do the things I do reflect my desire to be holy as He is holy? Just because there isn’t a specific verse in the Bible about a behavior does not mean it is righteous behavior. If you feel a check in your heart about something, it would be wise to listen to it.
I found myself thinking about the future. If anything ever happened to me, what would be the number one thing I wanted my children to remember about me? Did I want them to remember me as fun, kind, charitable, passionate? Well, those things were nice, but not what I wanted to be remembered for. I want the first thing that comes out of their mouth to be, “Mom loved The Lord.” I would love them to remember the times that I was kind, fun, charitable, and passionate, but I want that all to lead them back to remembering our walk with the Lord. I want every good thing my children remember about me to lead them right back to Him, the source of every good thing. I do not want my own legacy. I want Christ to be my legacy.
What do you want to be remembered for? If you were to leave this world today, what would be the first thing mentioned about you? Would it be that you are a good parent or an excellent business person? Would your love for your job or sports be the first thing people remember? If what comes to mind is not what you want to be your legacy, then now is the time to change that. If you are a Christian, I will lovingly remind you, that it should be your love for the Lord. If we follow Jesus’ command to love the Lord with all our hearts minds and souls, then He should be the first thing anyone remembers about you. The next will be how loving you were because of that.
Mother Teresa comes to mind when I think about leaving a legacy of love for Christ. Even people who are not Christ followers can not deny that there was something different about the way that woman loved. That she gave herself over for Christ’s cause. You can not remember her without remembering her love for the Lord. She lived it. She is not alone. Our Bible is filled with stories of people who lived it. The world is filled with people who are living out Christ’s command right now. Are you living it out?
All need grace and all is grace, friends!