The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is a pivotal moment in human history. And for those of us who are in Christ, who have our hope because He was resurrected, there are many good things that we can know because our Lord is risen from the dead.
Being a Christian is not something we can do on our own. There is a need to be around other Christians, to have fellowship and be encouraged for the life that we live. It is not only necessary that Christians attend worship, but that we prioritize worship in our lives in order to best serve God.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It is a question every child hears many times when they are young. I remember, when I was little, thoughts of being an astronaut or a professional baseball player would often fill my dreams. Around the time I entered high school, my thoughts had shifted to the possibility of being an engineer. However, when I realized that I love the Lord and His Word a lot more than I did math and science, it became clear to me that preaching was what I was going to do.
I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of times when I still don’t really feel “grown up.” I suppose that as a Christian, I still have a lot of growing to do, as do all who walk in Christ. We know that we should be striving to grow in Christ every day. Perhaps as Christians, we don’t fully “grow up” until we attain the resurrection from the dead that Paul talks about in Philippians 3:11-12. The Apostle wrote:
that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. (Php 3:11-12 ESV)
With that thought in mind, when I “grow up,” I want to be like the angels in heaven. After all, that is what Jesus says about the resurrection when answering the Sadducees in Matthew 22, stating in verse 30 that “in the resurrection they…are like angels in heaven.” Humans are currently “a little lower than the angels (Heb. 2:6-7), but Christ promises a day coming when we will be like them.
When I “grow up,” I want to be like Christ is. As a Christian I strive to imitate Christ every day, and be like him as much as possible in everything that I do, but there is an even greater sense of being “like Christ” that I aspire to. Again in Philippians 3, Paul wrote in verse 20-21:
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Php 3:20-21 ESV)
Yes, I still have a lot of growing to do. And I know I will not reach my goal until that day when I am raised to be with the Lord forever (1 Thess. 4:17). Meanwhile, I’ll keep doing my best to grow, and be more like Christ in this life, so that one day I may be resurrected to be like him in glory.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to what Christians believe. Without it, everything that we do is worthless. Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, takes the opportunity to answer some who were giving in to the belief that resurrection wasn’t actually possible. Through his writing, he shows both the foolishness, and the consequences of such a belief.
Prayer is so vital to the life of a Christian. It must not be neglected any more than food, water, or sleep should be neglected for physical life. Not only should Christians resolve to pray more, but should resolve to prioritize prayer through praying early, praying often, and praying without ceasing.
On the First Sunday of each month, the Orangeburg Church of Christ hosts an abbreviated worship service, after which we sing for an extended period of time. On these Sundays, the lessons are shorter than usual sermons. In 2020, these first Sunday lessons are going to focus on passages from the Psalms. This week, we consider a lesson about trust i God from Psalm 4
I am certainly not the first, neither will I be the last person to make a vision pun in this new year of 2020. I can’t even promise that this will be these last time I will make such a reference over the next 12 months. I can say for certain that I think having a clearer spiritual vision could be an excellent goal for each and every Christian as we traverse this new journey around our sun.
If we are going to have clearer vision in 2020, we must have our eyes fixed in the right direction. We are all running this race called life, and if we want to run with endurance, we must have our eyes trained on what we are running toward. The writer of Hebrews wrote that “since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to (fixing our eyes on) Jesus, the founder and perfected of our faith…” (Heb. 12:1-2a). If we are going to run this race, we must keep our eyes on the one who goes before us, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Clearer vision in 2020 will requires us to have a heavenly focus. Paul wrote to the church in Colossae to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” While there are things on earth that require our attention (work, school, family, health, etc.), our ultimate focus must be on those things which have an eternal purpose, rather than a temporal one.
If we hope to have clearer vision in 2020, then it will require us to have adequate light in our lives. You can’t see properly when in the dark, but shed some light on the situation, and all things will become much clearer. The Psalmist wrote that the Word of God is “a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). There is simply no substitute for regular Bible reading and study. It is God’s light for our lives in a world that is full of darkness. If we take it and use it, we will have light for our path, and we will be able to see more clearly in the year ahead.
May we all strive to have clearer vision in 2020 through fixing our eyes on Jesus, focusing on heavenly things, and letting the light of God’s word illuminate our path.