Today: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Death - how do we respond to the resurrection?    (5/23/2010 )

Over the last few weeks we’ve looked at issues to do with death—which, like taxes, is one thing we can all be sure of! Of course, the reason Christians talk so openly and confidently about death is that, because of Jesus’ work on the cross, they believe it’s just the door through which they enter eternity with God.

Belief in these things is the foundation on which the Christian faith is built. But what do we do about such a belief?

One of the things we often talk about here at Church on the Net is the way lives are transformed by knowing God. His Holy Spirit calls us to live better lives, and Jesus gives us the model for what that ‘better life’ should be. New believers should learn the value of prayer, of fellowship (being together with other Christians) and of learning from the Bible.

But Christianity is also very much about relationships. When we become a believer in Christ, we look upwards (to God) and inwards (to our relationship with him), but we must also look outwards, to others. And it can be all too easy to forget that ‘others’ part!

Living a Christian life, being in relationship with God and following the Bible should all help us to improve our relationships with others, especially by following Christ’s example and serving others (such as helping to feed the hungry—for no other reason than to share Christ’s love).

But there’s another dimension to our relationships with others. If you look at your own spiritual journey, whether you believe in Christ yet or not, I’m sure there will be other people who have inspired you, challenged you, and contributed to your understanding. The Christian faith simply wouldn’t exist today if billions of people, over the past 2,000 years, hadn’t told others about Jesus. Some of them were inspired by God to leave home and spread the word of God in other countries; others stayed home and told their friends, families, neighbours, colleagues—and even complete strangers. What they had to say was so precious, they risked (and many even lost) their lives so that we, too, could hear.

If you discovered a new skin cream which changed and enriched your life, filled you with joy and gave you hope for the future, I’m sure you’d waste no time getting on the phone or on Facebook and telling your friends. But how much greater is the good news of Jesus Christ? Shouldn’t we be telling everyone about him, too? Shouldn’t we be spreading the joy?

The truth is, it can be much easier to rave about a skin cream than about our faith. We might even risk those relationships which are so important to us. But if we don’t, what does that mean? That we don’t want those whom we care about to be saved? That we’re ashamed to talk about what Jesus has done for us? Jesus said [Mark [NT] 8:38] that if anyone was ashamed of him and his words, he in turn will be ashamed of that person when he comes back in glory. (What a horrible thought, that Jesus might be ashamed of us!)

Jesus also asked us to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew [NT] 28:19). Just as we have the good news of Christ because of those who came before us, we have a responsibility to future generations. Telling our friends, families, neighbours, colleagues (and yes, perhaps even complete strangers!) about Jesus’ death is actually the way to talk about life.

Telling others should be not only our duty, but our joy.

Pray: Lord Jesus, you showed such courage on the cross. Help me to have the courage to confront and consider what you did, and to have the courage to tell others. Amen.

Think about: Who are the people who have helped you on your Christian journey? How about praying for those people, and thanking Gid for them? How about praying that you might be a support and encouragement to others?

Challenge: Wherever you are in your Christian journey (whether you're a believer or just starting to question), take the opportunity this week to share your progress with someone, and become part of the ongoing Christian history of telling others.

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