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Leading people into a maturing new life in Jesus Christ

A Christmas Question

Here’s the question I’m asking myself this Christmas: How real is Jesus to me?
It’s easy to believe he came two-thousand years ago, became a real human being, did miracles through nothing but trust in the Father, died for my sins on a cross, rose again from death and returned to heaven. At least, it’s easy to believe in my head.
Also, I have no trouble believing that he’s coming back again to completely remove of sin, suffering and death once and for all. At least, it’s easy to believe in my head.
Those historical events, however, were in the past and are in the future. It’s not difficult to believe things we are objectively removed from. And here’s the problem — our minds objectify and compartmentalize reality to such an extent that we become disconnected from it.
Here’s what I’m asking: if I actually believe in the first and second comings, why do I often face the problem of trusting Jesus’ care in my life today? Why do I worry about things I have no control over?
My Bible teaches me that Jesus is “the same yesterday and today and ”forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Jesus himself promises, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:19).
What I can honestly say is this: Jesus is more real to me than he used to be. His presence is more manifest and his kingdom more evident. But he’s not real enough! I want more!
I’m not blaming him. I’m not even blaming myself. I just want to know him better, learn how to hear his voice more distinctly, move forward so my whisper-of-a-life can become something that brings him glory and manifests his kingdom-presence in this world, even if just in a tiny corner.
At Christmas we emphasize God’s gift of Jesus, as we indeed should. We celebrate his coming. Then, as we begin the new year it’s easy to forget we have a part to play. Gifts are free, but maturity is expensive. Relationships are two-way roads. So I’m asking God for power to maintain my end of the relationship in 2012.
God is giving me some simple directions to follow and I believe these guidelines are also for our church.
I hope you’ll join me in 2012. How real is Jesus to you?
Contributed by Pastor Larry Zuchowski

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