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Mar 02, 2022 08:00am
Are You a CEO Christian?
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As I write this, we are exactly at the mid-point between Christmas and Easter. Those warm feelings of joy, love, and peace of Christmas have faded. And we are not yet really focused on those sacred and reverent thoughts of Easter.

Several years ago, I had an acquaintance tell me that he was a CEO Christian. When I asked what he meant, he explained that he practices his faith on Christmas and Easter Only. The rest of the year, he really pays no attention to it.

I was shocked at his statement. But should I have been?

After all, the term “Christian” has become so generic that it seems to have lost all meaning. It has become common for people to refer to themselves as Christian just because they have a Christianized set of beliefs and try to live a good life.

Now I’m not qualified to judge anyone’s faith. But I believe that misses the point. The point of calling ourselves a Christian should mean that we are believers in Christ.

But exactly was does that mean? Precisely what do we have to believe?

THE NECESSITIES

Well, we have to believe the core Christmas and Easter stories. 

We have to believe that the baby born in Bethlehem is indeed THE Savior that each of us needs. 

“The Savior-yes the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem the city of David! (Luke 2:11)

And we have to believe that it was the death of Jesus on the cross that fulfilled His role as that Savior.

We are all in need of a Savior. And it was that act of ultimate sacrifice that provides the possibility of salvation to us. And that gift of salvation is available to each of us only by believing that it happened and that it applies to us personally.

If we genuinely believe the truths of those two stories, grace grants us the title. We can authentically call ourselves Christians. We may not practice that faith. Or we may practice it on Christmas and Easter only. But if that faith is genuine, we are afforded the grace that establishes our inclusion.

If you are new to all of this Christian stuff, that may sound too good to be true.  I mean, can we possibly be forgiven of our sins just because we believe?

Yep.

That’s crazy!

Yep.

But what’s even crazier is joining the club and getting the membership card but not taking advantage of all of the available benefits. But unfortunately, that’s what a CEO Christian does.

THE BENEFITS

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, something incredible happens. The Spirit of God becomes a part of our being and makes available to us guidance, wisdom, understanding, and help beyond anything we could ever imagine. I hate to call it supernatural, but I know of no better word.

But just because it is available to us, that doesn’t mean it is automatically manifested in our daily lives. Sure, we got into the club by faith alone, and yes Jesus paid all of the membership dues. But taking advantage of the benefits takes some effort on our part. When we put forth that effort, another amazing thing happens. The available benefits just continue to flow wave after wave.

So how do we begin taking advantage of all available benefits?

Well, first of all, there’s no cookie cutter approach. The Spirit will lead each of us the way He wants to– individually and uniquely. But I do believe there are some common steps that each of us can take in the process:

1. SEARCH AND SEEK

Assessing the guidance, wisdom, understanding, and help of God is not a passive experience. It is up to us to search and seek out those things. And if we earnestly do seek out those things, we are promised that we will find them. My primary methods of searching and seeking are through Bible study, praying, and listening to my spiritual mentors. Just this morning, I found an answer that I had been seeking this week through the words of my pastor during his sermon. I do not believe that was a coincidence.

2. LISTEN AND RECOGNIZE

I believe that one of the biggest failings among people in general is our failure to listen. And that failure to listen among Christians is even more unfortunate. After all, we have the actual Spirit of God speaking to us. Yet we often don’t listen.

So when you read your Bible, strive to listen to what it is saying to you personally instead of reading it like a history book. When in prayer, give God some time to speak, and practice the discipline of pausing to listen.

Over time, you will begin to recognize the voice of God more and more. There are tons of books and other resources available to help you to develop that recognition. And once you really begin to listen for and hear the voice of God in your life, you will be amazed at the wisdom, guidance, understanding and help available to you.

3. ASK AND RECEIVE

One of our biggest benefits as children of God is the freedom to ask Him whatever we want. We just have to be honest with Him in the asking and trust Him with the answer. Right now, I’m going through something in my life that does not look like He is going to answer in the way I hoped. And I am not going to pretend to be happy about that. But I am at peace knowing that I trusted Him enough to ask and trust Him enough to receive and accept His answer. As the Bible says, that is “a peace beyond all understanding”.

4. EMBRACE AND ACT

Once we access the benefits available to us through our relationship with Jesus, we must embrace and act on those benefits. Wisdom, guidance, understanding and help are of little good to us if we fail to use and act on them. If you want to have an interesting Bible study, read through the miracles recorded in the book of John that Jesus performed on people’s behalf. See if you can find the little piece of instruction that He issued in each and the small step of obedience that was required in each. It seems that Jesus most often asks us to cooperate in at least some small way as He works on our behalf.

So as we close, can I ask you to pause a moment and assess whether you are taking advantage of the incomparable benefits available to you through Christ? Or are you settling for being a CEO Christian, just hoping that your membership is secure? How unfortunate it is to settle for less than we have available.

Or maybe you are one who cannot honestly claim the title of Christian. The stakes of that are too high to leave up in the air. Easter will be here before we know it. Let this one be authentic for you.

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