Sunday, January 17, 2010

Why Jesus Should Be Relevant to Your Life

As someone who is a follower of Jesus Christ, I am compelled by the great commission.("the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20) There are three important points to be made here: 1st - that faith grows with time, in uneven increments, and even, when it appears as though "you have it together,"doubt can arise even to the most ardent believer. This doubt can be the work of the Evil One who rejoices in placing the least bit of indecision in your heart, by means of his deception and lies. The second point is that we are all compelled as true believers to bring the Gospel message to all we encounter. This is an extremely difficult task particularly if you are not living the life that Christ wants you to live. You can be an instrument of Satan if you "don't practice what you preach." The third point is that Christ is with us, right now in 2010 and will continue to be with us as we do battle in the world. If I am compelled to bring Christ to others then I must be prepared to make my case for why Jesus matters in your life. The secular world in its rejection of Christ starts with a premise that is false.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote in the Anthropological Structure of Faith: "Contrary to scientific knowledge or other types of certainty, the assent of faith comes from a personal encounter with God. He reveals himself to us, and we respond with the assent of faith. “Through being touched in this way, the will knows that even what is still not ‘clear’ to reason is true” and it assents to faith in God."

The premise that we cannot have faith because we do not have scientific evidence is a false premise. This revelation that comes from a" personal encounter with God" that comes from God's grace does not necessarily come to us in "flash" like Paul's conversion. So here is my point: you cannot get what God freely gives (divine revelation; faith) without willingly choosing. "Who cares" may be the next response. My answer to that is this, follow the logic: A. God exists ( if you don't believe this then I have another discourse but not right here)B. God cares about the world ( again if you believe otherwise, look for a discourse on that at another time) C. God cares about you personally D. God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. E. Jesus' life and teachings are detailed in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John. F. Jesus died for our sins and for salvation - which means we can attain eternal life. G. In Jesus teachings, he gave his apostles and their successors the power through the sacraments (in particular the Eucharist which is the body and blood, soul and divinity of Christ himself) the ability for all to enter into the divine life by means of grace. H. Through grace, which comes from the sacraments, prayer, and,contemplation we can get to know God and in doing so be transformed to grow in faith and live as He wants to live. I. The ultimate end to a life of grace is eternal happiness with God. The opposite of eternal life is death, not death of our bodies but death of our souls which is a lifetime of separation from God. That is why Jesus should be relevant to your life.

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