Why I Will Always Follow Christ

When I take my last breath, I will still be following Christ.

I do not promise you that I will be closing in on a sinless life or that I will have left behind temptation, but my hope will rest in Christ.

I’m writing this for my family to read, to know, and to pass on.

We have walked through many hard issues in the past twenty years individually and collectively.  Through that God has always been there.  Please read what lies below.

Over the years as I have watched people struggle with their faith when circumstances rear their ugly head.  Some have given up the fight and quit the race, at least for a time.

I have seen these struggles and thought deeply about many aspects.  And the conclusion I’ve reached is that God is big enough to carry me for the rest of my life, just as He has carried me in the past.

The biggest lesson of my life as a Christian is that God is the father in the study of the prodigal son, and like the father in the story, He stands at the top of the hill every morning gazing into the distance for me and for you.

Find your hiding place in God.  No matter if you feel close to Him or far away, God is big enough.

Let me add three snippets of verses that cross my mind from time to time and reinforce

Romans 14:4 “Who are you to judge another man’s servant?” – All of us will stand in fall only on the mercy and judgement of Christ.

Job 13:15 “Though He slay me, yet I will hope in Him” – Whatever may come, whatever choices I make, I will place my hope in Christ.

John 6:68 “Peter answered and said: ‘LORD, to whom shall we go? You alone have the words of life.”

All of us must make our own peace with God, this is the answer to that peace for myself.

I hope that it encourages you and helps you in your journey as well.

GOD IS BIG ENOUGH

One of the great lies that we face is that God and Satan are in some epic struggle.

They are not two ancient brothers wrestling. One is not a white dog and the other a black dog and whichever one we feed the most will win.

God has won.

He loves you personally and wants to spend time with you and share life with you.

Whatever fear, anger, belief, or doubt you may have, God is bigger than all of them.

He is bigger than death, suffering, abuse, stupid Christians, or the disability you were dealt.

And He doesn’t expect you to clean yourself up and heal yourself.

Just show up.

He wants to spend time with you and when you are ready, He will tackle your needs and concerns.

God is bigger than your doubts.

Many times people who grow up in the church leave and go away for a season, but they don’t feel like they can come back to God even when they want to.  They may remember Bible verses or teachings about falling away from God.

But many of the great men of the Bible struggled with their faith and doubted God.

Pastor Rick McDaniel discusses five biblical leaders who, for different reasons, wished that God would kill them or that they had never been born: Moses (life was too hard), Elijah (fear), Job (suffering), Jeremiah (failed ministry), and Jonah (God forgiving his enemies).

Whatever your crisis of faith, God still loves you and wants to touch you and be a part of your life each day.

God is bigger than your biggest sin.

Yes. No matter what you have done.  Consider these people.

St. Augustine spent his life, before becoming a Christian, talking Christians out of their faith. He was so persuasive that even priests would avoid him for fear of losing their faith.

David from the Old Testament murdered one of his best friends and stole the man’s wife. It was after that time that God referred to David as “a man after my own heart.”

Paul murdered Christians for being Christians. And yet God used him, to write almost half of the books of the New Testament.

God will forgive you for whatever you think is too big for him to forgive: murder, rape, anger, abandonment, abuse, sexual sin.

God is bigger than your unforgiveness.

Many of us don’t want to enter into God’s forgiveness for ourselves because it will lead us to forgiving others.  After all, the pain they have caused us has had a destructive effect on us or our friends.

I would just say to you that you will not need to forgive them until God has brought you to that point.

Bring your unforgiveness now and let God heal the OTHER parts of you first.

He will let you carry that unforgiveness around if that is what you want to do. Will you someday let go of it? Probably, but you will be ready.

One friend told me that he couldn’t do this because it would be hypocritical.

Come with your hypocrisy then. God is much bigger than that. Everyone who endeavors to do good will be a hypocrite on the days they fail. That means that God forgives hypocrisy every day.

God is bigger than your constant sin.

Forget about the people who pretend they do not sin. All of us sin every day. We think selfish thoughts, we wish ill on others, we put ourselves above others, etc.

Jesus taught that we as humans were to forgive our brothers seventy times seven times for the same sin. He didn’t mean 490. He meant we are to continue forgiving.  Do you think that God has a lower standard of behavior than He has asked of us? God will always forgive you.

In 1 John, it specifically says, “If we say we do not sin then we make God a liar.” So by saying that you have sin, you are on the right track. You agree with God. 1 John continues by saying that if we confess our sin that God is able and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It is not God’s intent for us to constantly sin – we are saints that sin, not sinners who occasionally do well – but that does not limit God’s love for us.

My favorite teaching of Jesus is the story of the prodigal son.  Jesus tells of a son who demands his inheritance before his Father’s death (i.e. wishes his father was dead) and goes spends it all on hookers and booze.

The Father, who personifies God, doesn’t just accept the son back into the house, but goes each morning to look for His son.  And while that son is still far off, God runs to him and throws his arms around him.

Each of us is the prodigal son, every single day.  We sin every single day. And every single day, God RUNS to us to forgive us. He runs to us to restore friendship. He runs to us to show us His friendship.

God is bigger than evil (theoretical).

First let me talk about theoretical evil.

Evil in the world, far from proof that God does not exist, is a proof that God exists.

To quote the theologian Ravi Zacharias:

To say that something is evil is to say that there is such a thing as good.

To say there is both good and evil is to posit that there is a moral law.

To say there is a moral law means there is a moral law giver.  This is God.

But why doesn’t God simply forbid evil? The answer is choice.

People were created to love God.  But love requires choice; otherwise it is brainwashing or robots. So we must be free to choose if we are going to be free to love.

If we talk about a murder and we ask why God didn’t stop it then we start down a slope.

If we want God to stop murder then what about the beatings that led up to the murder.

If we want God to stop a beating then what about verbal abuse that precedes the beatings.

If we want God to stop the verbal abuse then what about stopping the excessive drinking that led to the verbal abuse.

The problem is that very quickly we are no longer choosing to do good or choosing to love God, instead God is controlling us, and we are back to being robots.

How is evil to be stopped?

It is stopped by each of us, day by day, as we choose to agree with God and show love to others in each situation.

God is bigger than the evil that was done to you.

Most of us when we point at evil, are talking about something that has happened to us personally or to someone we know.

We are broken and devastated by what has happened. Our trauma has led us into other unhealthy relationships or habits, perhaps drugs, cutting, or long term depression.

Could God have stopped this?

Yes.

But as we talked about in the section before, only if we are all to be robots.

What I can tell you is that I have known some pain in my life (the death of my unborn daughter), and God healed that pain.

It took time and help from other people, but God did heal me.

I’ve known others who have gone through other painful things such as sexual abuse and rape.

God came alongside them, while they were still in pain and angry at God. And He stayed with them through the process as they reclaimed their true identity.

Their identity, like yours, is that of a beautiful person made to be whole and loved.

God is bigger than your doubts about creation.

Some people who often have a deep faith in God struggle to reconcile the Bible’s story of creation with their knowledge of and approach to science.

Many people have struggled with this issue and have arrived at positions that reconcile their objections with the traditional point of view on creation.

One group that has taken a lead on this issue is BioLogos (biologos.org).

God is bigger than politics

In the United States, we are at the end of a difficult election. Unlike any election before this, we are seeing far more damage to relationships, even between Christian brothers and sisters.

God’s love and the calling that He has put on all of us as Christians is big enough to go beyond our different views on which person or party will lead our country.

Even one of Jesus’ disciples, St. Simon the Zealot, was essentially a member of a radical political party of his time. The zealots wanted to fight and overthrow the Romans. Instead, as he focused more and more on the teaching of Christ, St. Simon forgot about overthrowing the Romans with weapons and traveled to preach the good news of God’s love to all men and women.

Again, there are many groups of Christians who end up on all sides of the political spectrum.

God is bigger than all of the doubt and confusion here.

God is bigger than your wanderings.

Some of this is covered above or is a combination of the above factors, but sometimes you may feel that you keep wandering away from God.  That you’ve known His forgiveness and that you’ve seen Him be bigger than your crisis of faith, but that you still wander away or are planning to wander away again.

This is not to excuse making poor choices or deciding to sin. The Bible tells us that these types of choices will have consequences in this life, in our relationships and in other side effects.  But it does not change how much God loves us or if He can forgive us.

Press into God and ask Him to show you His love and let that love replace your cravings in other areas.

Remember

In the end, we can ALWAYS come back to God.  This truth I believe and this I will live out.

That does not mean that I will live a sinless life (unfortunately), but I have the confidence in Christ that is talked about in Romans 8:38-39:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

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One Response to Why I Will Always Follow Christ

  1. nancy o miller says:

    Thanks, Kent, for sharing truth.

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