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Monday, October 05, 2009

I choose Him … Everyday!

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[October 05, 2009]   -- When Charles Swindoll was a young boy, he was greatly influenced by this remark from an old Texan: “The problem with the Christian life is that it’s so daily.”

It’s true. Following Jesus is a lifestyle that builds on past lessons and decisions, but also depends on our dedication day by day. We cannot live off yesterday’s successes, last week’s prayers, or the Bible stories we heard when we were children.
Each new day is both a challenge and an opportunity. Our faith will be challenged, and we can use that challenge as an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God. Jesus Himself said that those who wanted to be His disciples were expected to be in a continual attitude of self-denial and obedience to Him. Here’s how the Lord put it:”If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

As each day unfolds, we must pause and remind ourselves that this is a day dedicated to God, that it is to be used for His glory, and that it is best lived with a continual recollection of what Jesus did for us on the cross. It’s a daily commitment.
Keith Miller puts it this way: “It has never ceased to amaze me that we Christians have developed a kind of selective vision which allows us to be deeply and sincerely involved in worship and church activities and yet almost totally pagan in the day in, day out guts of our business lives and never realize it.”

Jesus did not say “Take up your cross and follow me to church on Sunday morning, then you can do whatever you like the rest of the week.” Cross-bearing is a day-to-day activity for those who would follow Jesus.

n 1990, center fielder Brett Butler left the San Francisco Giants as a free agent. He was loved in San Francisco, and rightly so. He was a great player. But the best offer came from the LA Dodgers – the Giant’s rivals.

Early in the season, when the two teams met for the first time that year, Butler was the center of much attention. He was well loved by his former team, but now the Dodgers were playing in San Francisco. When the line ups were being read and the players introduced, the crowd roared as Butler, their former player was announced. The people still loved him. Perhaps they felt he was still a Giant at heart. Brett Butler did something interesting at that moment. When he heard the response of the crowd, he walked up to his new manager, Tommy Lasorda, and he hugged him, in front of the thousands that filled San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. Instantaneously, the cheers for Butler turned to boos and insults.

After the game, he was asked by the press why he did that. Brett Butler responded, “It turned a page in my career. I’m an LA Dodger now; I’m not a Giant. That just kind of solidified it. I wanted them to know I’m a Dodger”.

When people become Christians, in one way or another, they need to “hug Jesus” in the sight of their family, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. They need to make it clear who they now belong to – even if it causes some to boo and sneer. Like Brett Butler, we need to go public with our commitment. Let there be no question in anyone’s mind, our loyalties are to Him first.
“The problem with the Christian life is that it’s so daily.” Yes! It is! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

[text from file received by Ron Otto, Lincoln Christian Church]


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