I Always Try to be the Best Man
I always try to be the best man that I can be or as I like to say: I try to be the best Jesus I can be. The one thing I realize is that being the best man you can be is hard in a world that hates you. We, as Christians, are hated. We are hated so much that we are persecuted for our beliefs to the point that we cannot say Merry Christmas. We cannot pray in schools, we cannot share our faith in the work place. We are truly strangers in a strange land; we are not of this world. We seek a prize that most cannot understand, and we follow a God that most do want to take the time to know.
We are to give without wanting anything in return. We are to love when people hate us. We are to turn the other cheek when we are struck. We are to give our cloths away when someone asks. We are to walk the extra mile when someone asks us to go the first. Everything that Jesus asked us to do in the Sermon in the Mount was and is a challenge to live by. We live in a world that wants to kill us. We live in a society that says we are free, but binds us at every turn. Will we be persecuted for our faith? We already are persecuted. We are already bound. But, in the end, we will be victorious. In the end, we will have the prize that was promised us.
I look forward to receiving the keys to the mansion built for me (hopefully, I am worthy enough to enter the gates of Heaven), but until then, we have to fight this thing called life—this broken and miserable state of existence. This short time span we have on this planet to live a life that will find us acceptable enough to enter into His glory. I tell you, I could have ten life times and never be worthy of His love. However, I am thankful for His grace—a grace that saves us and see us through the hard times.
I try hard to look at the examples of the men and women who have fought the war before me. I try to learn and understand the weapons of our warfare. It is that small word in the middle of that statement that brings me comfort—our. It helps me remember that I am not alone. That the men and women that sacrificed themselves for me made it, they used the weapons that Christ gave them and made it. They found that thing within them that helped them to survive living this world. I am tired of life and all of its pain and suffering, but until my end I will draw my sword and dawn my shield and fight the good fight.
As Job said in chapter 13:15: 'Even though He slays me I trust Him still.' There is nothing that can happen that I will keep me loving from Him. I falter and am faltering right now. I struggle, kick and fight against His will, but in the end I trust Him still. When I am broken, I seek Him to know repair. There is nothing that can happen that can separate me from my God. I have a hard time trusting people, the churches—the world, but with Him in my life I can do anything. He provides for me and helps me to keep getting up every morning to face the world.
I try to love everyone. I try to keep believing that He will provide. I try to understand His will for me, even when I have no idea what is going on or what is going to happen. I feel lost most days and in despair—but, I still feel Him there. My life, I have learned, is not my own.
One of my favorite statements is: If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. I laugh at that statement because I try so hard to live in Him, but spend most of my time trying to do things my own way. I have asked, in the past, to be broken—and I was broken. But, I also understand that I had to be broken to know repair.
I try hard to be the best Jesus I can be. When people hurt me or my loved ones, it is hard to love them—Christ prayed for the people who put Him on the cross while He was on it. I pray to have that resolve. I pray to have that understanding. I want to stand before the sea and part the waters to bring the people to the Promised Land. I want to have the courage to stand before the giant armed only with my faith and sling. I want the courage to preach against the sin of this world and have the confidence to do so as the men who stood against Rome. I want the resolve to sing praises to my God even when I am in chains. I want to love the people who spit on me and abuse me. I want to look death in the face and laugh because I know Christ intimately.
Oh death, where is thy sting? I try to be the best Jesus I can be. I want to serve Him and glorify Him with my existence and I want Him to bring me to that place of understanding and joy that only He can give me. But, as I have said, this world makes it impossible to love if I loved with my own heart. My God has given me a heart that only He could have given me. He has given me the weapons of our warfare to face the enemy that wants to kill everything that Christ stands for. When will we stand up for our rights? When will we give up our will to have His will conquer all?
Last week, I watched a movie with Kevin Sorbo called “What if…”. In the movie, he was told that every preacher or priest goes through something called ‘the moment’. The moment is that time in our lives when we question everything: vocation, service to God—and faith. I have struggled with the question of where will I go or what is going to happen. But, I continually try to remember a verse from Luke 9:62: ‘I will put my hand on the plow and not look back.’ Most days that is hard to do. I try to not be angry at the church or the people, and I find myself wondering why I stay. But, then I realize that the church is perfect because He who laid down His life for it is perfect. It is the corruption of the people that make it hard to remain. And, then I look forward, keep my hand on the plow and try to not look back. And, when I am hurt and broken I trust Him still.
My God knows my heart even when no one else does. He understands my heart when others doubt it. I try so hard to be the best son, the best father, the best husband and the best friend to everyone I know. I try to love all who I have encountered throughout this life. I truly try to be the best Jesus I can be. I will continue to keep fighting. I will keep pushing forward and hopefully I will be found worthy enough to enter the gates of paradise.