Fight for Joy! Blog
Where Jesus Changes Everything
“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:9-11). I read an article recently in which the author reminisced about the little Baptist church he attended as a child. It was not a very spiritual article. In fact, it was less about spiritual matters and more about fashion – who had it and who did not – at the little Baptist church.
Well, I did not learn too much about fashion at that little Baptist church I attended as a child. Most folks who know me now would argue I have never learned too much about fashion! I guess one of the things I learned at that little Baptist church was there are some things in life more important than clothes. After all, it was Jesus who said, “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25). I learned there are some things in life more excellent than fashion.
A few more things I learned at that little Baptist church are life does not always turn out as expected, people are not always what they appear to be, God can save anybody, and when it comes down to it, Jesus is all that matters. Life does not always turn out the way we expect it will. Twenty years ago, if you told me I would be married, a chaplain in the Air Force, and have thirteen children, all of whom would be at home with the Lord, I would have never believed it. After all, I had my plans, and although these plans included marriage and children, they did not include the chaplaincy, the Air Force and they certainly did not include the tremendous pain, suffering and loss that my wife and I have experienced. I guess when it comes down to it, Jesus is all that matters, not houses, not cars, and especially not fashion.
I also learned, and this took me awhile, that people are not always what they appear to be. In other words, someone can present themselves as one of the most godly, committed Christians in the church, and yet be pure evil. Maybe that is what Jesus meant when He said that when He appears, He will “separate the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:32). It is a true statement. The church is full of some godly people. But it also contains some who might “have a form of godliness, although they have denied its power” (2 Timothy 3:5). He went on to say, “Avoid such men as these.” I guess when it comes down to it, Jesus is all that matters, not personalities.
One of the greatest things I learned at that little Baptist church is God can save anybody. He saved me. But how hard is it to save an eleven year old kid? I do not know the answer to that question. All I know is God saved me. I have seen him save a lot of people. I have even been used of God to communicate the Gospel with many of those I have seen Him save. But the greatest memory of all that I have from that little Baptist church, concerning salvation, is the last night of one of our annual revivals when I saw God move in the heart and life of an uncle of mine who I was convinced was beyond salvation (and he is probably reading this now—I love you Uncle Rusty!). He learned something that night, as did the rest of us, at that little Baptist church. When it comes down to it, Jesus is all that matters.
When it comes down to it, that is, when all is said and done; when this life is over and I stand before God—He will not be interested in fashion—He could care less how much money I made, the people I knew, the things I accomplished. When it comes down to it—in that moment—the question will be, did I, “approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ?” In that moment, Jesus will be all that matters.
You are welcome to leave comments and you don't have to necessarily agree with me. However, I expect a civil tone and charitable spirit. We can disagree with one another without being disagreeable. "Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt." (Colossians 4:6)
Striving to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus.
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