A great friend of mine, Byron Washington, asked me to do a guest blog appearance on his blog a couple weeks ago and this is the piece I wrote. I HIGHLY recommend his blog. He has a lot to share along with great insight. Check him out at http://byronwashington.com/byrons-blog/
iPad, iPhone, iMac, iTouch, iTunes, iBooks, iHome, and the iPod; just to name a few. These days technology runs the world via cell phones, computers, and the latest/flashiest/shiniest of them all, tablets. Apple is crushing the market since they have at least two generations of each device I’ve aforementioned. The history of Apple and these “i” products all began with the iMac back in 1998 then came the iPod in 2001. Well, it’s without secret, the “i” in these products stands for individual. In other words, everyone can have an iPod, but it will be person specific, tailored to the individual. It’s setup the way they want it. It has the songs they like. It has the artists they love. The iPod is the color they want.
This principal can be a bit scary as some individuals try to turn many things into an “i” product (a product meant to fit them and ONLY them) that doesn’t need to be. iCompany, iMarriage, iFinances (in the context of a husband and wife), and most interestingly iChristianity.
The iChristianity mindset says, “I want to serve Jesus the way I want to, in the way that makes me comfortable, when I want to, and so I can get whatever I want.” Sorry to burst your bubble, but guess what…
BECOMING A CHRISTIAN AND WALKING WITH GOD HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT YOU AND WILL NEVER BE ABOUT YOU.
Christ speaks to this particular subject utilizing the same words on four separate occasions. The scripture addresses are Matthew 16:25, 10:39 and Luke 9:24, 17:33. In these verses, He repeats, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” That’s a loaded statement! It’s a loaded statement he decided to repeat 3 more times, which indicates it has huge significance on our perspective of walking with Him in addition He tells them what NOT to do in order to save their life...which is, LOSE IT!
Are there some benefits to walking with God and serving Him? Sure there are, however…HOWEVER, do not, for one moment, allow somebody to paint a utopia like picture that when we receive Christ everything is fixed and perfect. Paul says in 2nd Corinthians 4:8-11, “we are persecuted, but not abandoned; we are knocked down, but not destroyed, always carrying around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our body.” Paul continues to speak about the trials we’ll endure and then says this beginning at verse 14, “We do so because we know that the one who raised up Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus and will bring us with you into his presence. For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
In Matthew 16 and Luke 9, just before he makes his repeated statement, He addresses SELFISHNESS. Christianity is about being SELFLESS. If one becomes a follower of Christ mainly because of what they can get out of it and not consider the SUFFERING that comes with being a follower of Christ; they’re in for a mean surprise. Paul gives us a glimpse in 2nd Corinthians of what the reward is when we remove the “i” from in front of Christianity. He describes it as an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison…WOW. No Cross. No Crown. In other words, if you aren’t willing to take up your cross for Christ, you’ll get no crown from Him. Christ wants our Faith to be certified. A faith that experiences no suffering is an unproven faith.
As I close, Christianity has very little to actually do with us. He not only saves us, but we’re saved FOR HIM. God must use His children to be His hands and His feet here on earth. If we are living the iLife with an iChristianity mindset, we are living a life displeasing to God. One living a life pleasing to God would have a posture and a heart such as this (as the old folk might say):
I’m just a NOBODY, trying to tell EVERYBODY, about SOMEBODY, who can SAVE ANYBODY.
Are you living the iLife?