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There are so many things in life that I find perplexing. Deep things like-

Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the-nevermind, that’s too cliché….

Other things, though, are more distressing than perplexing. For example, we listen to celebrities who tell each of us to be ourselves and embrace our individuality. Then, the more we pay attention to them, the more we begin looking, talking, and acting like them.

Or, why do we think that throwing a couple nickels in a bucket before splurging on a new HDTV will somehow make the world a better place? Why do we spend weeks scheduling a 4-hr movie marathon when we can’t seem to find a way to “fit” God into a 20-min slot on our busy schedules?

It all comes down to priorities. What do we live for and care about? I realize as I write this that I may be upsetting some people. That is not my purpose, and I hope you hear me out. I don’t say all of this because I have it all together. I say this because I have struggled with misplaced priorities myself. I know in my heart what is the right thing to do, but it is very tempting to be “cool” and relevant.

So, where are our priorities? What are we living for?
A good time?
High academic excellence?
Popularity?
A mansion and yacht?

What will these things all matter in the end? “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”(Mark 8:36 ESV)

Problems start when we begin pushing God out of the highest place in our lives. We forget that we are “sojouners and exiles” on this earth (1 Peter 2:11). We then quickly lose sight of the fact that “…our citizenship is in heaven…” (Philippians 3:20 ESV) In his book, Just Do Something, Kevin DeYoung states

“If you think God has promised this world will be a five-star hotel, you will be miserable as you live through the normal struggles of life. But if you remember that God promised we would be pilgrims and this world may feel more like a desert or even a prison, you might find your life surprisingly happy.”

(pg. 29)

If we are indeed pilgrims headed to a better place, we should be excited about it! People should be able to tell that this earth is not our real home. We need to stop being more excited to go to the mall than the morning service. While you hesitate to keep reading because “Chris just condemned mall trips” (which I absolutely did not), let me ask

Where are those bold Christians who are “unashamed of the gospel of Christ”? (Rom 1:16) Let us not get complacent in our comfy suburban churches. I thought of myself as a pretty strong Christian, then heard of

The woman who was arrested for over 3 years in Pakistan, on “blasphemy charges”

The SC high school valedictorian who boldly tore up his pre-approved speech and instead, gave his testimony and quoted the Lord’s Prayer at his graduation (until his mic was muted)

The pastor arrested yesterday in Scotland for open-air evangelizing.

The countless other men and women of history sacrificed all, including their lives, for the sake of Christ.

This is what I long to be. How often do we loudly sing, “Dare to be a Daniel” as a child, only to sit in silent terror when a neighbor or classmate asks us if we actually believe in Jesus?

We are called to be a witness. We are to speak of “what we have seen and heard.”. May we live and speak in such a way that others would see that Christ is everything to us.

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