"My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus blood and righteousness"
The words of this classic hymn express an important concept — that the object of our faith is its defining characteristic. Our faith is in God through a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus, and nourished by His Spirit. When Jesus is object of our faith, His Word and principles define our identity, our purpose and our actions. We choose to organize our lives around His call, "Follow me." As a result of this journey of faith, following Christ, we filter the issues of life through the grid of His Word, seeking to uphold His principles in this world in which we live.
However, in a this world that is increasingly antagonistic to the principles of Jesus, I find myself, at times, becoming focused on specific issues, rather than on the object of my faith — Jesus. Certainly issues exist in our world today about which we should have passion:
- Social issues related to poverty, disease and personal identity.
- Moral issues related to family, faith and individuals.
- Political issues related to our country and the world.
- Church issues concerning worship of and teaching about God.
Certainly, issues are important. However, our passion for issues should flow from a dynamic relationship with Jesus, guided by His Spirit. When we, as followers of Jesus, begin to build our faith more around issues than Jesus, it is easy to deviate from His principles. When we make issues the central focus, our attitudes shift from loving to hating in an "us versus them" mentality.
As our lives and the lives of those around us become more political and more issue driven, let us remember that our faith must be grounded in Jesus and, thus, driven by our love for God and love for others. When this is the case, our passion for important issues will be Spirit-led, and the manner in which we engage those issues will display Christ's gracious love. However, when our faith flows from the issues, harshness and anger become more common expressions.
This week as we engage issues based on the principles of Jesus, may our lives Lessons Learned on the Journey- Bob Snyder MD reflect the difference that Jesus has made in our lives.
Sharing the journey with you,