Let me introduce myself, my name is Ryan and I am a Christian. But let me unpack that statement for you. I grew up calling myself a Christian, but I never actually walked in it or a better term, “practiced it”. See, I knew of God, and at one point I “prayed the sinner’s prayer” and figured that was it. I figured I was “good.” But little did I know what it meant to be a Christian. What it meant to call myself a follower of Christ. What it meant to be adopted in. Little did I know the power of the Cross. The magnitude of His blood. That He gave His life willingly, so that I could learn to give my life as well.
So, when I say that I am a Christian, I don’t mean that I simply go to Church on Sunday, or that I involve myself in a men’s group, or that I practice social justice in the name of God and in the name of goodness. It means that I have decided that God is in fact who He says He is. Creator. Which makes me His creation, and through Love; He has given me a choice to choose Him. Which means that I choose to follow His plan, and His plan for me was that Christ died so that I may live.
Live to do what though? Live to write a blog? Or to be YouTube famous? Or to live in such a way that when the day comes, and I am standing before the Creator as the created and He looks at me and requires an account of what I was given. On that day I want to be able to produce evidence of the gifts I have been given as having produced fruit here on this earth that is everlasting.
Which may seem like an obvious thing. But is it really? Something that God has been pushing on me is the understanding of the Cross itself. The power of the Cross is the only real power that has the ability to change the heart of man. This power has the ultimate ability to grant freedom for me and for you from sin and death. Not a literal death per say, but an eternal death. Because we have all sinned. And we all need forgiveness. That forgiveness only comes through Christ who died and from Christ who rose.
That is redemption at it’s finest, but do I make that my boldest statement? Or do I go and offer to tell people about God and His goodness, but fail to bring the importance and the need for repentance. Am I willing to stop and pray for someone or offer a lending hand in the natural, but fail to offer a needed hand in the eternal?
You see I have been challenged lately as a Christian. Challenged to look at myself and ask the hard question “Do I allow the Cross of Christ to lead me through my life?” Or do I do what others in the past have done and say that I receive the sacrifice of Christ, but I will go on living the life I want to live at my discretion, and Jesus can take the back seat.
This is the journey I’m on. This is what it means to be a Christian. And this is who I am. I write this with an effort to convey a simple message. That Christ, crucified and resurrected should be the leading factor in my life, in your life, in the life of the church. Because that is what it means to be a Christian!