So it was that for an entire year they met with the church and taught a great many people, and it was at Antioch that the disciples were first called ‘Christians.’ (Acts 11:26)
Today’s scripture tells us that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. If we were to boil it down to its most simple statement, how would we describe what it means to be a Christian?
Is it about believing in what Jesus said and did long ago? Yes, and it’s more.
Is it about living and acting so that others could see the teachings of Jesus stamped on our lives? Yes, and it’s more.
Is it about bringing comfort to the forlorn, hope to the hopeless, grace to the fallen, peace to the anxious? Yes, and it’s more.
What is this “more” I keep referring to?
This “more” is to trust that just as Jesus once walked on this earth, so He walks with us now.
It’s to believe that Jesus will someday come again in what we call the “end-times” and that He also comes to us every day.
It’s to trust that if we ever need to know what to do, how to carry on, how to make a difference, or how to face any challenge, we need only get quiet, be still, and spend some time with Jesus in prayer—trusting that He will speak and guide.
I wish I could say that Jesus is always as real and present to me as I’ve just described. He isn’t—and He is not because He drifts away from me, but because I sometimes drift away from Him. When I do, my heart, mind, soul, and life begin to get small. When I drift, I begin to die.
Today I encourage you to really consider why you call yourself a Christian. The Christian life isn’t, finally, about Jesus and our doctrines, dogmas, positions, politics, or worship styles. The Christian life is, finally, just Jesus. Jesus is our Lord and Savior and Dearest Friend. Jesus is the one who finds us, forgives us, heals us, blesses us, loves us, and wants us now and forever.
- Why do you call yourself a Christian? What does being a Christian mean to you?
- Before you open your mouth to testify or share your faith, do others see by what you do and by how you live that you are a Christian? If so, what do you believe is distinct about your life? If not, why not?
- Like me, do you sometimes drift away from Jesus? If so, how come? How does your life work when you do drift? What helps to bring you back to Jesus?