14If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Can we lose the gift of Jesus Christ?
Jesus Christ is not a gift you receive, store for a later date and then use to your advantage. To view him in this way is to receive without understanding, store the gift without valuing it and use it without respect.
How do we lose the gift of Jesus Christ?
We lose the gift of Jesus Christ if we stop practicing the following disciplines in regards to our sinful nature. Daily we must:
- Openly identify with name of Jesus Christ
- Humble ourselves to His authority and commands
- Seek the face and presence of God in our life
- TURN FROM SIN
We cannot be ashamed to be called Christians. We cannot be embarrassed by our association with and nature in Jesus Christ. This central reality of the Christian life should be our strength. Being an ambassador of Christ is not just a burden we are meant to carry. Representing Christ is to be His light in the world. It is an honor and a privilege to be called a Christian and to hide our identity is to reject the gift.
When we receive the gift of Jesus Christ we no longer possess any authority in our lives. Naturally there are times when our sin fights viciously to draw us away from the presence of the Lord. This command is not a command of perfection. However, it is a daily decision we must all make. We must all decide if we will use this day to serve our own interests, or His. We must decide if today we will follow His commands or our own. To receive the gift of Jesus we cannot claim authority in our lives or wisdom in the steps we ought to take. Jesus is the final authority, and the Gospel to which we dedicate our lives is His.
Faith in Jesus is a relationship, and like all good relationships, conversation plays a central role. The fruitfulness of a relationship corresponds with level of communication between the parties involved. How can we claim to love Jesus or to receive His forgiveness and mercy and at the same time be totally disinterested and apathetic about our intimate dialogue with Him? We cannot. Prayer is not asking for things or saying sorry for things we’ve done. Prayer is a practice in faith. In praying we believe that we are talking with the God of Creation and that He takes interest in what we have to say. Prayer is a powerful gesture to God that we believe Him, we miss Him, and that above all else we need Him.
The gift of Jesus IS Jesus. The gift of Jesus is not merely rescue from our problems, peace from our strife or joy amidst the misery. The gift of Jesus is the fact that we no longer have to search for happiness or contentment in anything else. We no longer have to try and fail to satisfy our own hearts. The gift of Jesus is the fact that in Jesus we have the answer that our hearts have sought to find from the moment we were born. Therefore, if we understand the gift of Jesus and resist or even resent the presence of Jesus in our lives as our King and Savior, we are continuing to rely on the gifts that Jesus replaces, and we continue to search for satisfaction that, apart from Jesus, is nowhere to be found.
If you are carrying a box that requires you to carry it with two hands and a person asks you to carry another box, both the same size, both requiring you to carry it with two hands, you’ll have to make one of two choices. You can either drop the first box and pick up the new box, or you can refuse to carry the new box and continue carrying the box you were carrying at first. In the same way we have to face our sinful desires and temptations in relation to the gift of Jesus Christ. The gift of Jesus Christ is the second box. To receive it we HAVE to put the other box down. Where do we get the idea that we can carry both? In order to be a recipient of the grace and promises of Jesus Christ we have to lay our lives down, pick the up the cross and follow our Lord.