My Bottom Line

The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,”and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.         Romans 10:8-10 (HCSB)

Lectionary texts: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16, Romans 10:8-13, Luke 4:1-13

This message is in my heart and in my mouth. It is the “bottom line” by which I live. It’s not something that I had thought about until I read this passage – really read it – about 15 years ago. I never thought of a sentence or two that defined my life. I always felt my life was too big, too complicated to boil it down to a few syllables. Then I read this and I realized that if I was asked to bring my life, what I stand for, what I believe in, this may be as close as I will ever get to intelligible words.

Jesus is LORD. How do I know this? For me, I know because He changed the world. This one life changed everything 2000 years ago and is still doing it. Twelve people shared their stories of Jesus with others. And now of the 6+ billion people in the world today, it is estimated that 33% are professing Christians. Jesus’ life and words have forever changed me.

Jesus is alive. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then it would be hard for me to believe that He was God. He would just be a really good man better than David and Peter and Paul to be sure. But I want God to overcome the suffering, pain, and death of this world. If this is all there is – I want a rebate on my life because I want more. Jesus is alive because He is actively working in my life today. His words are relevant today.

I am saved from death. With what science we have so far, no one has been able to disprove Jesus. No, they haven’t been able to prove Him either but if Jesus didn’t really exist, if He really didn’t rise from the dead, it seems like it would be easier to disprove Him. And so by faith, I know that Jesus overcame death and because I believe in Him, know I need Him, and commit myself to Him, He has promised me an eternal home that is not destroyed by death. I know that no matter what comes into my life here, Jesus has overcome suffering and death for me for all eternity. Death is nothing more than a door for me to walk through to a time and place I can only imagine.

I have a story to share. I have a story of Hope to share. I have a story about the anchor that holds me when the storms are raging. I have a story about a Friend who is always there to talk to, always gives wise advice, and never rejects me. I believe Jesus is who most people are looking for in their lives, they just don’t know it and are reluctant to take that step of faith. Does my life encourage them? Ah, that’s a good question.

Every day I ask God to take control of my life and use it however He chooses. I pray that I have ears to hear Him and a heart that is soft and tender to only His way. And that every day He hears, “Use me today, LORD.”

Take my Life, A Living Sacrifice written and sung by Chris Christian

 

 

 

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