Being an Adventist Christian
In July’s Gleaner, there is an article on education that used four words that caught my attention. They captured, for me, the essence of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I have rearranged them; they are Gospel, Lordship, Presence, and Vision.
The Gospel is the Good News that I am not living with no hope driving up a cul-de-sac. The Gospel spells HOPE. It says to me that though I have messed up, I am forgiven, my mess is wiped up and I am as good as new. The Gospel says that I am freed from the tyranny of being held in captive by a cruel dictator bent on my destruction. I have a loving and kind Benefactor who has given His all for my release, and has given me, an orphan, a new home with His own family.
The Lordship of Jesus lets me feel safe. I am no longer ruled by the tyrant of sin that is out to crush me under an impossible load of guilt. His Lordship means that I no longer live in the false freedom of my own chaos. That was the deception of the evil one. Lordship means that to obey is no longer a hardship that I want to rebel against. Obedience has become a joy where the outcome is always in my favor. To submit to His Lordship means that I now have the best of circumstances, which are never against me, but always for me.
Cultivating a sense of His continual presence with me is a constant challenge. I still live in a world of evil and temptation. The evil one’s tool is distraction and I am naturally forgetful. God calls me back to His path by using a key word, REMEMBER. Remember that I brought you out of Egypt by my mighty hand. Remember to keep the Sabbath because it is a constant reminder that I want you to experience My continual Presence with you. To Israel in the tabernacle He gave the bread of the Presence (the Word), the light of the candlesticks that were always to be burning (witnessing), and the incense of His righteousness that was continually ascending to heaven with the prayers of His people (prayer). How to practice the presence of Christ in my daily life is a continual discipline that keeps me focused and protects me from all the distractions that waste my time and lead me into rabbit trails of temptation.
Vision projects into the future. It means living with a future perspective based upon sure promises – Jesus IS coming back again! Like John the Baptist was to preach the Elijah message as a forerunner of Jesus’ first coming, so we, the Remnant, are called to preach the Elijah message as the forerunner of Jesus’ second coming. Having a personal vision helps me to stay focused. It keeps me from becoming static and stale. It prevents me from being lulled into habits that limit my focus on the busyness of the present life with its trials and suffering. It enlarges my perspective, so that I can see each present trial in the broader dimensions of His greater and eternal plan for my life.
These four pointers have been useful to me and help keep me focused and connected to Him, like the branch to the Vine. Digest them and experience a new discipleship walk with Jesus. Test it to see if that doesn’t bring a renewed vitality and spiritual energy in your otherwise ordinary, mundane existence.