If You Want to Be a Christian

If You Want to Be a Christian

If you want to be a ChristianThis Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote captured me this morning, so I just had to share it with you. Hopefully – if you want to be a Christian – it will touch a chord in you and inspire you to put your faith in practice too.

“If we want to be Christians, we must have some share in Christ’s large-heartedness by acting with responsibility and in freedom when the hour of danger comes, and by showing a real sympathy that springs, not from fear , but from the liberating and redeeming love of Christ for all who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. The Christian is called to sympathy and action, not in the first place by his own sufferings, but by the sufferings of his brethren, for whose sake Christ suffered.”

How do you share in Christ’s large-heartedness? (I so love this expression, don’t you? So good to be part of this – but it is not just for us, is it?)

How do you act with responsibility and in freedom in the midst of challenging times? You know, mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. This quote indeed challenges me. In a very good way though.

If you want to be a Christian, you are called to sympathy and action. How are you going to do that today? How are you going to show love to people for whose sake Christ suffered? (And if you did not notice, that is ALL people, not just those you love).

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then? (Gal. 5:13-15, MSG,*)

We can’t just receive the Good News of Jesus Christ and then do nothing. With the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer “To deal with the word of Jesus otherwise than by doing it is to give him the lie.”

We are not to be just receivers of the Word of God, we also need to be the doers of the Word of God.

But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (James 1:22, NLT,*)

If you want to be a Christian…you are called to use your freedom in Christ to serve others in love, put God’s Word in practice. Every day of your life. How are you going to serve the Lord today?

 

Gracious God,
Thank you for the freedom in Christ.
Show us how to practice that in our lives.
Empower us to serve others like you served us.
Let us be the doers of your Word.
In Jesus’ precious name,
Amen

Q4U: If you want to be a Christian, you are called to sympathy and action. How are you going to do that today?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you serve the Lord every day of your life!

* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses to Biblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.]

Image courtesy of Mari-Anna Stålnacke.  Linking up today with Dance with Jesus, Faith-filled Fridays, Five Minute Friday, and Faith Barista.

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