It was a glorious day for my old friend. He was breathless as he informed me his life was now in the Hands of Jesus. We had been having some interesting conversations, but it was a large evangelical event that finally prompted him to stand up and accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. We hugged and his embrace was strong and genuine. He had surrendered to Jesus.
“What do I do now?” he asked.
So, I kiddingly asked him if he didn’t pick up the manual from the evangelical event before presenting him with my favorite study Bible. It was notoriously thick and the pages were made of the Bible-standard, super-thin and crinkly stuff. But at least it had pictures.
He looked at me with a mix of excitement and uncertainty. “Relax,” I said. “It really isn’t that complicated. What we need to do as followers of Jesus Christ can be boiled down to a few simple ideas. Are you a people person?”
What was supposed to be a quick cup of coffee to tell me his good news turned into lunch and then supper in between a lot of walking and talking. I started with the most basic thing I could think of. He did not know that the Golden Rule was from the Bible. I showed him Matthew 7:12: Do to others as you would have them do unto you.
Jesus came down from heaven and became a man to not only save us but to show us how to live a Godly life. His example is shared throughout the New Testament, especially in the Gospels. The Golden Rule is exemplified by not throwing the first stone, not sending the children away, and forgiving the woman who touched his robe.
Sometimes, it is easy to show our human side and do what society and peer pressure suggest we do instead of what we need to do as followers of Jesus Christ. Should we speak badly of someone in a crisis? Should we discourage association by others we think are not on the same status level as us? Should I get mad when someone reaches out to take advantage of me? Or should I offer more help?
My friend said he gave his life to Christ. I asked him if he believed that Jesus Christ gave His life to him (my friend) first? We read John 3:16-17. You accepted Christ as your Savior, but do you believe that’s what happened at the resurrection? As followers of Jesus Christ, we need to be ready to proclaim and defend that basic tenet of our faith, not with violence and sarcasm, but with love and commitment. (1 Peter 3:15)
Do you love God and Jesus with all your heart and soul? Everyone is familiar with the Ten Commandments. But Jesus taught us all that the most important thing is to believe in Him and love the Lord, our God.
Then we must take that love and reflect it upon our neighbors. Everything we do must be done in a spirit of love. Hatred is of the devil. God is Love. If we are to be Godly, Love is the only way to approach things.
What we need to do as followers of Jesus Christ is simple. Treat each other well. Be kind. Put yourself in others’ shoes, not to judge, but to understand. Defend the faith with well-reasoned, calm arguments. Read the Bible and find the examples and guidance Jesus gave us. When doing what we need to do as followers of Jesus Christ gets difficult, fall back on the basics.
Love God. Love one another.