May 31, 2010

To Live is Christ — is not a passing fad

Last week a woman told me that when she became a Christian her relatives and friends told her that it was just a fad. She would soon “give it up” and return to her normal life. She added, “They just did not understand.”

Fads abound in every realm. Clothing styles, hair styles, popular music, architecture, best places to vacation, automobiles, movies, and even philosophies. Fads come and go. What was once popular becomes passé. Sometimes the passé becomes popular again. The human heart is fickle and satisfied only a short time.

Actually, interest in Jesus Christ can be a fad. I’ve known people who jumped on the bandwagon because their friends did or because it was the thing to do when at a Christian camp. It didn’t last because their hearts were not in it and their lives were not changed. They did not have genuine faith, only a temporary interest.

Fads are like that. They are about popularity and temporary likes and dislikes. On the other hand, salvation is about eternity. It is based on eternal truth and the reality that, never mind our likes and dislikes, we come and go — only once. In fact, life is a mere blink, at least this life here on earth.

“All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:24–25)
Peter quotes a passage from Isaiah about the brevity of life and the longevity of God’s Word. Think of it. I speak and my words last as long as someone remembers them. I write something and depending on where those words are recorded and on whatever safeguards them, they might last longer than I do, but they are not eternal.

Yet God has no beginning or end. I cannot wrap my mind around that concept. However, I do understand that when He speaks, what He says is good for all time. His Word is powerful. He spoke the world and all of creation into existence. His Word became flesh (morphing at its finest?) and lived among us. His Word has been recorded into the all-time best-selling book, the Bible.

This Word of God is far from being a popular and passing fad. At times it has been banned and burned. It has been smuggled into countries that forbid it. In those places, one precious copy has been divided into pages, hidden and shared by those who believe it. Despite the attacks on it, the Bible remains and continues to speak the Word of God to those who read it.

When I was thirteen, I began reading the Bible every day. I did not believe it or understand it and my reading was a ritual, a duty and a habit. Sixteen years of this did not alter my life. However, one day one verse leaped off the page and forever changed me. At that moment I became keenly aware of the presence of Jesus Christ, the Living Word, and that He is God in human flesh. I don’t remember the verse, but I do remember that the Spirit of God made the identity of the Word of God emphatically clear.

The Word of the Lord endures forever, and it is by this Word that I finally heard and understood the gospel. Jesus Christ came to earth to save sinners. He died for my sin, was buried and rose again the third day. He is alive. He is real and He is eternal. After that revelation, there is no going back. Once a person knows Jesus, it is impossible to forget His person and His identity. Knowing Him is not a fad because He satisfies all the longings of the human heart and never becomes passé.

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