How have you seen the greatness of Christ this week?
One of the questions I like to ask people who believe in Jesus is: “How have you seen the greatness of Christ this week?” How would you answer that question today?
It’s kind of funny really, but a lot of people who believe in Jesus and follow him have a lot of trouble answering that question. This morning at our church we will be taking a look at Joshua 24 together. In Joshua 24, Joshua began by spelling out all the great things God had done for his people. He started with Abraham and his family. He recounted the story of how the great God had chosen him and his descendants. Then, Joshua spelled out the challenges they faced and how God brought them through. (Sometimes, God gave his people’s enemies rest while they continued to struggle. What was he thinking?!?)
Joshua reminded God’s people how God led them to Egypt where they eventually become slaves. Then, he delivered them and gave them their own land. Their enemies couldn’t even curse them. When they tried, God turned the curses into blessings. And, God provided for them. He gave them cities they didn’t have to build and food they didn’t have to plant. Then, Joshua told them they had a decision to make.
Which gods will you choose?
Joshua told them to serve the LORD, or decide who they were going to serve. The problem we all face is that Christ is never the god we choose.
In Dale Ralph Davis’ commentary on Joshua, he points out that when Joshua asked God’s people to choose who they would serve, he gave them two choices. He told them to make the conservative choice of the gods of their ancestors before God chose Abraham or the progressive decision to worship the gods they found in the land God had given them.
One of the crazy realities about our faith is that we don’t choose the God of the Bible! When we choose a god, we always choose a conservative, traditional god who maintains the status quo. Or, we choose a progressive god who is into all our new ideas. There’s only one way we serve the God of the Bible…
We don’t choose Jesus
In John 15:16, Jesus told his disciples:
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide… (ESV)
We don’t cast our vote for Jesus. Our god always looks more like us. The god we choose likes our friends. He (or she) listens to our music. He votes for our candidates and supports our ideas and truth claims. Really, we never choose Jesus, but in his mercy, he chooses us. Then, everything changes.
It’s kind of weird, but if you have been chosen by Jesus, you don’t choose him. You just serve him. Your life becomes about the business of bearing fruit for Jesus and his kingdom. You realize he is what this is all about, and you make all you do about him. Paul described it this way:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (Romans 12:1 ESV)
You use your life — yes, your life in your physical body — to make the name of Christ great! Then, something crazy begins to happen: you see the greatness of Christ!
How will you make the name of Christ great this week?
Are you chosen by God? Then, make Christ’s name great this week! Let what you believe about Jesus drive you to serve him. Let the everyday tasks that could feel like a grind be about Jesus’ greatness! Let your relationships demonstrate his love — especially for the unlovable. Because Jesus has brought God’s mercy, remind yourself with every breath who that breath is for, and spend that breath for the greatness of Jesus’ name. And, make disciples. Help the people around you follow Jesus. Encourage other believers around you to keep following and serving Christ. And, offer eternal life to someone who has not believed in Jesus yet.
If God has chosen you, look for ways to answer the question, “How have you seen the greatness of Christ this week?” I promise you won’t be disappointed!