Christianity is a way of life that demands that one tries to live the same way Christ lived. It is difficult, but we are called to try. God knows we fall short and that is why there is an opportunity to confess, to ask for forgiveness from both God and those we wrong intentionally, out of ignorance or for general lack of regard for other people and relationships. We also have among us, his servants, pastors and evangelists to assist in guiding us to focus on the cross. We also have at our disposal, the holy book, the Bible with the 10 commandments to point us to Christ, who must be the main attraction in every Christian church. If you find yourself going to a church for any other reason that is not to seek Christ, then you are beginning to drift or the torch-bearer has lost the way.
We need to self-assess from time to time so that we do not get into the comfort zone of people who have been there and done that.
Christianity is continuous renewal and that is why we gather to strengthen each other with the word, to keep our eyes on the ball and to build spiritual relationships as we are bound by our love for Christ who paid the ultimate price for our sins. Psalm 24 v 3 says, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?”[NIV] As part of introspection into how we are doing in terms of worship and praise, that scripture calls on believers to check whether they can confidently come before the Lord. Those who keep the 10 commandments and have turned themselves into servants by carrying the cross may find God’s favour to stand before Him. The faithful should make an effort to confess, and not just come before the Lord with requests for this and that. Before we “ascend his mountain to stand in his holy place”, let us cleanse our souls. Let us be at peace with workmates, neighbours, family, relatives and even churchmates.
But how can we renew ourselves to be worthy of carrying the cross? There are many examples in the Bible of people who, despite their inborn weaknesss, found God’s favour. David was the anointed one of God and a great warrior, after the incident with Uriah’s wife, he went before the Lord with a contrite heart [Psalm 51 v17]. A broken heart goes a long way in Christian faith. We have to deal with pride to find God’s favour, admit wrongdoing, say it out and ask for forgiveness without a hint of arrogance.
Maybe you are despised by the whole town like the Samaritan woman [John 4]. All is not lost because when you meet up with the Christ, you can lead the whole town to Him in the same way the Samaritan woman did. Despite her weakness for men, she was quite knowledgeable. She knew about their history, relations with Jews, their way of worship up in mountains and most importantly, that the Messiah was on the way and He would tell them everything about the Kingdom. The whole town was saved by the woman of many husbands. Let us learn to give each other benefit of the doubt, be accommodating and believe in humanity. Salvation is for everybody and nobody is more deserving than the other. Maybe those that we despise are the ones called to stand in the holy place.
We could also be like Anna, the widow. She literally spent her life in the church praying and fasting and had the opportunity to see the Messiah. The scriptures [Luke 2 v 36-38 NIV] say, “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them (Joseph and Mary) at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child (Jesus) to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.”
We are called to improve on our walk of faith knowing that he will not forsake us as, “ . . . no word from God will ever fail” [Luke 1 v 37 NIV] As we seek to qualify to enter his holy place, let us also remember that His grace is sufficient.