Written by: Rev. Robert F. Hayes, Jr.
British clergyman, John Henry Newman quoted a proverbial statement: “We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.” Mankind, as God’s creation, is failing Him! I mourn those of God’s creation that embrace racial hatred, political correctness, and self-pride. These individuals demonstrate a preference for self rather than mankind. God’s righteousness has been replaced with self-righteousness. America has embarked upon an extended vacation away from God instead of choosing to reside with Him. The Bible teaches, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Christianity Matters!
Secular dictionaries define Christianity as a religion derived from Christ. Yet, the biblical understanding explains it as no religion at all. In God’s view, Christianity is a way of life! We cannot know this way of life until we unite with Christ through faith and commitment. Christ’s ways will never invade us until we embark upon invading Him. “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29) The word “rest” implies, taking a time of refreshment from or be at ease with the concerns of life thrown at you because God is in the midst of them. Resting in peace with God gives priority to others needs above our own. Christians know that God will supply our needs. Jesus invites all to become conquerors with Him (Romans 8:37). Christianity Matters!
As a young man growing up on the west side of Indianapolis, I waited for new things to come but held onto the same bad habits. I went to the same corner hangout every day. I hung out with the same guys faithfully. We all knew of the good within us, but for some reason change wasn’t arriving fast enough. Then one day I realized change was delayed because I depended, far too much, upon myself. I needed a more certain and powerful change-agent and it wasn’t me. It was Christ Jesus. Thomas H. Huxley said, “The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other higher.” That corner hangout my friends and I went to every day was the rung of the ladder I rested upon. We weren’t helping each other to climb higher. We rested on personal and friendly satisfaction to each other. We held on to good intentions but missed climbing the ladder to the next rung because of unexpected misfortunes.
All mankind is subject to times and changes that we have little or no control over. When I gave up the street life and began to search for Christ, I found a new way of life in Christianity. I became a new creature. Paul’s letter to the Galatians speaks of “a new creation.” Through Christ’s blood, mankind is delivered from sin, destruction and death. Life took such a turn for the better that my philosophy of life became inherent upon God’s Word. No longer did I depend solely upon myself to reach higher ground. Jesus Christ became my dependence. With Christ came new life and lost desire for the things I once knew as satisfying. But more importantly, I’m delivered from those things in life that circumvented my relationship with Him. Only in God does life have true meaning and purpose. Nothing satisfies me more than knowing He is the “author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Christianity Matters!
I do not know who wrote this story but it’s worth sharing: Helen Keller never went to church during her early childhood. Deaf and dumb and blind, she did not learn the story of the love of God in Christ until she was taken to Phillip Brooks for religious instruction. The great preacher told her, in the simplest possible language, how God had sent Jesus to teach us His will, show us His love, and make Himself known to humanity. The face of Miss Keller lit up as she spelled into the hands of her interpreter, “I knew all the time there must be One like that, but I didn’t know His Name.”
Until you know Him, you’ll never know newness and the blessed assurance that lies ahead. Your face and life will never find the light that Christ is willing to shine upon you until you know His name. Christianity Matters!