Jesus is relevant for our livesPublished 9:26am Monday, March 7, 2011
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 1 Timothy 1:7
Recently my Mama’s clothes dryer stopped working. No warning, nothing – it just stopped drying. My Daddy is the resident handy man.
If anything is broken, my Daddy can fix it; that’s what he does, he fixes things. He tore the dryer apart leaving parts and tools strewn all over the laundry room floor. He found the problem and went to work to make the necessary repairs.
After he identified the problem, he replaced the part, put the dryer back together and the dryer started drying again. In the process of clearing his tools from the floor, he noticed that he had inadvertently left a part out of the dryer. The dryer was working fine and since the dryer was drying and Mama was pleased with a job well done, Daddy decided that the part was probably not very relevant to the proper working of the dryer.
We were discussing this with Mama and Daddy one Friday night at supper and I determined that this part of the dryer was like an appendix; it was great if it works fine, but irrelevant if not working properly. We all had a good laugh at the expense of the missing part.
However, this really made me think about our lives and the relevance of Jesus. If life seems to be going the way we want it to go and we are not experiencing any bumps along the way, we have a tendency to think that Jesus in our lives is irrelevant.
However, when we allow ourselves to lose the relevance of Jesus in our lives many things happen. We need to remember that Jesus is more than a historical figure. Jesus is real and alive and active in the lives of believers; Jesus is our Savior, the Son of God.
If we see no relevance for Christ we live in extreme fear. There are so many things that are going on in this world that could have great cause for people to lose sleep.
However, when the reality of Christ is relevant in our lives we can lay our head on the pillow at night and know that God who created the world is still God of the world.
There is some great theology in the song I sang as a young girl in Sunday school; “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” There is nothing going on in the world today that God is not aware of. Do you think terrorists are somewhere out of God’s view? Do you think that oil spills and unemployment are off of God’s radar? Of course they aren’t; God is all knowing. God knows and understands the things that cause us fear and anxiety.
However, when we lose the relevance of Christ our fear is magnified. When we understand the relevance of Christ, He is the first and only place we take our fears. Kneel at Jesus’ feet and offer Him your fears. Be honest with Jesus and be honest with yourself. God did not intend for us to live our lives paralyzed by fear.
We must understand and live daily in the significance of Christ if we want to have any joy and peace. Please understand that I do not live my life in a bubble isolated from the problems and cares of the world; I watch the news, I know what my neighbors in my community and around the world go through every day.
But I also watch as many people needlessly put themselves through stress every day because they are consumed by things of this world. Let me ask you this: what consumes your thoughts? rising gas prices? recreation? new toys? The things that consume our minds are usually the things that become our gods.
I will admit the economy is in distress right now. However, I do know this, God is still God! If I wake up tomorrow and I can no longer afford to buy gas for my car, God is still going to be God. What causes you stress and anxiety? Give it God.
The beauty of the relevance of Christ is that He knows our heart ache, our fears, our doubts, and all of the other stuff that we consume ourselves with. Give it all to Him.
Ask God to help you understand His will for your life. Ask God to help you understand how to live in times of hardship, broken relationships, and uncertainty about the future. Our futures are secure because of the relevance of Christ in our lives.
The relevance of Christ enables us to live with Godly perspective. The things of the world no longer have a hold over us. The relevance of Christ enables us to live with joy and with peace. The relevance of Christ enables us to love our neighbor as ourselves.
May you live each day in the grace and glory of the risen Savior, Jesus Christ whose steadfastness is unshakable and whose love is never ending.
Diane Everette is the pastor of Bethel United Methodist Church.