I think most of us have big dreams for ourselves, especially when we are young. We have a picture in our mind of how our lives will turn out and what kinds of things we want. I used to have a picture of a beautiful plantation house hanging in my locker during high school. I wanted to live in that big house so badly. It was beautiful and huge and I thought that it would make me happy to live there.
Thankfully I figured out pretty earlier on that those things are not the important things and that there is so much more to life than big houses, lots of “stuff”, and the perfect job that pays a lot of money. I suppose if I am honest I would say that I would still want some of those things, but I know that if they never happen I will still be happy. My hopes and dreams don’t reside in things but instead they reside in and are fulfilled through Christ. He has shown me what is most important in life and what will make me truly happy.
Chapter 6: There is More
I find it very powerful that Matthew Kelly points out that of the 12 disciples, 11 of them chose to die for their faith in Christ instead of denying who He truly was. This is incredibly powerful! If Christ was not who He said He was they would have no reason to perpetuate His teachings and His claim after He had left them. To protect themselves they could have easily said He was crazy… that they didn’t believe His claims. But they didn’t. They chose to die instead of denying who they knew Him to be. They knew that there was more to life than their wants, their needs, and their desires. Instead, Christ had taught them that everlasting life was what was most important in this world and they could attain that through Him.
The words lunatic and liar stuck out to me in this chapter. I guess they caught my eye because I would never use these words to describe. We often hear that there are other faiths who claim Jesus was a prophet and nothing else or that He was simply a great teacher. But if we look at the facts, how can they believe this? He was claiming to be God. A great teacher or a great prophet doesn’t claim to be God. But Christ did. As Matthew Kelly points out that means that either He is seriously off His rocker, He is the greatest liar of all times, or His claim is true and He is truly God. Based on all that He said and did I don’t think we can believe anything but the latter.
Point to Ponder: Knowing about Jesus is not the same things as knowing Jesus.
I think this is true. If we hear stories about someone that doesn’t mean we know them, it simply means we have heard about them. It’s only when we begin a true relationship with someone that we can begin to understand who he/she is. The same is with Jesus… we can read the stories but if we never truly develop a relationship with Him we will never know Him. If we never know Him we will miss out on all that He has to offer us. As our chapter says, there is so much more to life and we can only get it through our belief in and our relationship with God.
Verse to Live: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God- what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
It’s difficult sometimes to live in the world but not of the world. Still, we are called to do just that. It is through Christ that we are strengthened and are able to discern what God’s will is for us. When I consider all the things that our world tells me is important, I know that for true happiness I only have to look at what Christ says is important and strive for those things instead. I think when I do that I am closer to doing God’s will than if I worry about the ways of the world.
Question to Consider: Do you have a really good reason not to take Jesus at his word?
I have no reason at all not to take Jesus at His word. When we hear of modern Christians being martyred because of their faith I have asked myself if I too would be willing to die for Christ. It’s easy for me to say yes because I believe what He tells me. I hope and pray I never have to make that choice as I would hate for the world to be in such a state that we would be living in a place where Christians would be killed for their faith. I also want to be able to live out my faith so that perhaps I might lead others to God as well. But, if it came down to it, I would die for my faith because I believe that Christ is who He says He is.
Your Turn: Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of Man? Has it always been easy for you to believe this? If you were asked to die for your faith, could you do it? Is it difficult for you to live out your faith within the world?
Prayer: Jesus, I believe. Help me to grow out of my doubts and unbelief.
When my faith falters, strengthen me, O Lord. When the world is loud and tries to pull me from your arms, help me to find the courage to turn my eyes to you. Lord, I believe you are who you say you are- you are the Son of Man, the Holy of Holies, my God, and my Savior. Amen.