What is a Christian?


Dear Friends,

What is a Christian?

We could answer that question in lots of ways but one way would go like this:

Very simply, a Christian is someone who, having heard the call of Jesus to ‘follow me’, says in response, ‘OK’.

Sometimes it’s good to pause and ask ourselves some searching questions about our Christian lives.  I’ve been asking myself these questions, I hope you’ll find them helpful too…

Am I still saying ‘OK’ to Jesus’ ‘Follow me’? 

Many of us will remember the enthusiasm with which we first followed Jesus.  But as life settles down and responsibilities pile up and routines set in, it’s easy to take for granted the fact that I am a Christian.  Can you pray this prayer?  ‘Lord Jesus, I’ve been a Christian for ‘x’ years now and today I still want to follow you’.

Am I still willing to say a sacrificial ‘OK’ to Jesus’ ‘Follow me’? 

In full, Jesus’ words are ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’.  So am I willing to make sacrifices, experience discomfort and set aside ‘what I want’ so that I can still say ‘OK’ to Jesus?  Try praying, ‘Lord Jesus, at this stage of my life, please make it clear to me how you want me to serve you sacrificially’.

Am I still saying a joyful ‘OK’ to Jesus?

Some of the saddest words in the Bible are the words Jesus says to the church in Ephesus:  ‘you have abandoned the love you had at first’ (Revelation 2:4).  It’s not that they’ve stopped serving Him – Jesus speaks about their hard work for Him.  But there appears to be no love and joy in it.  Do you need to pray this?  ‘Lord Jesus, I don’t want to go through the motions – I want to return your love for me with joyful love for You.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation!

Am I still saying a humble ‘OK’ to Jesus?

In other words – am I still conscious that I have failed and that I will fail and that if I am going to go on following Jesus until I drop dead, it will only be because He keeps forgiving me and giving me all the help I need to walk in His footsteps.  Try praying, ‘Lord Jesus, I still need help – everyday I need your help.  I need courage and strength and patience and love and I need your forgiveness.  Please supply my every need.

Many years after Peter first said ‘OK’ to Jesus, he was still urging his friends to live effective and productive Christian lives (2 Peter1:8).  If you feel particularly stuck on what this looks like for you and you’d like some help on thinking through the questions above, why don’t you speak to someone – a friend, or one of the clergy or staff team.  When we said ‘OK’ to Jesus, we joined a family whose job it is to help each other.

With love in Christ,

Joe Dent

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