Monday, June 16, 2014

Why I Am a Christian

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46

Last week, I spent five hours sifting through tens of thousands of books at a massive used book sale that benefited a local counseling ministry. I quickly browsed the classics and poetry and crafting sections, but spent the majority of my time combing through the religion section. I painstakingly fingered my way through each and every title, picking up to investigate those that caught my attention and tickled my curiosity. I felt like a treasure hunter digging through the relics of a past civilization searching for the long, forgotten, priceless gem of great beauty rumored to exist. Don’t tell me reading isn’t an adventure!!!

I turned off the TV and picked up and read one of those priceless gems last night—Jesus with Dirty Feet by Don Everts. I had actually put it back a couple of times because of the subtitle: A Down-to-Earth Look at Christianity for the Curious & Skeptical. While I was that person a decade and a half ago, I am no longer skeptical about the faith I have come to embrace. The main title and the content’s poetic form kept calling out to me, so I relented and purchased it. Boy, am I glad I did! First of all it is a marvelous book, not just for the curious and skeptical, but also for those who, like me, out of the sheer daily living of our Christian faith can become blind to the beauty and significance of it.

In its pages, I was reminded of why I became a Christian— a follower of Christ. I didn’t buy into the Christian “religion” or a particular set of religious rules nor was I hedging my bets with some sort of eternal insurance policy. But rather I met Jesus and responded to his request to “Follow Me” by dropping everything and doing my best to place my feet in his footsteps. I follow Jesus because he showed and shows me unconditional love and lavishes me with grace and forgiveness. I am with Jesus because he gave up everything to be in relationship with me. He gave up his throne and his life to redeem me. He belittled himself to encase himself in human flesh to speak to me and show me how to live a happy, full life of godly obedience and self-sacrifice. He promises to be with me always and stands by his promise in the presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart and in my life. He healed my brokenness and taught me joy. He encourages me and helps me up when I stumble. He finds me when I not sure where I am and sustains me every minute of every day. That’s why I am a follower of Christ—a Christian.

Why did you become a Christian, a follower of Christ?

1 comment:

Common Household Mom said...

I've been thinking about this. Perhaps because it (the followers of Jesus group) is the only group of people willing to have me as a member?

But mostly I think it is what you said - unconditional love, grace, and the presence of God.