Is Christianity a Part of Your Life?

JohnWittYesterday I had lunch with John Witt.  We had briefly met once, but never spent any time together. The lack of association has been my loss.

John is an energetic 89 years young. He’s a retired minister.  But not retired from ministering.

John shared with me his conversion story. How he was searching for Truth.  His journey.  And how he was converted to Christ.  It’s an intriguing and compelling story.  John was in his late 20’s when he bought his first Bible.

He told me of coming across this statement by Jesus:  “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”  (Lk. 14:26)

When John read it he thought, “that’s tough!”  But He kept reading.  Searching.  Studying.  Soon he came to Christ and hasn’t looked back.  His work and ministry has taken him from Texas to New York.  From Virginia to Florida.  From Canada to Kansas City.  And it’s in KCMO, as the locals like to call it, that our paths intersect.  John preached at Hickman Mills where Norma Jean and I now work.  For ten years, from 1974-1984, John taught, preached and poured his life into the lives of the brethren.  He made his mark there.  And he’s greatly loved and highly respected.

As we talked I felt his passion for preaching.  For people.  But most of all for the person of Jesus Christ.  At one point John looked at me and said, “Too many people look at Christianity as being a part of their life, instead of being their life.”

Let that statement sink in.  Do get the meaning of those words?  The depth?  The implications?

I’ve thought about them all afternoon.  Last night.  And now this morning.  They powerfully speak to what conversion to Christ is about.  What our lives should be about, if we are Christ followers.

Paul, who was converted from a persecutor of Christians to a proclaimer of Christ, penned, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

The apostle reminded the Colossian Christians, “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:3-4)

And toward the end of his life Paul wrote from a Roman prison, where he was shackled for sharing Christ, and freely admitted, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).

As I think of John’s observation and the words of scripture and see two kinds of “Christians.”   Each are represented by a circle.

John said that people have their home life, work life, recreation life, procreation life, and then their Christian life.  This life represented by a circle with five or six or seven lines dividing it into the various life components. Each are unique.  Separate.  Distinct.

The second circle portrays a different kind of Christian.  His life is the Christian life.  The circle has various divisions.  But there is another circle inside the circle.  In the very center.  It represents Christ.  And all of life is directed and dictated by Christ.  By the gospel of Christ.  By Christianity.  Their life is defined by their relationship with the Lord.

As we talked, John asked me why I thought so many who attend church lack commitment to Christ.  Why they have made Christianity a part of their life instead of their life?  I offered some “pat answers.”  But felt his perplexity in trying to understand why.

It is a question that challenges each of us. Each day.  In every activity.  In every decision.  Is Christianity just a part of my life?  Or is Christianity my life?

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

7 Comments

Filed under Christian Living

7 responses to “Is Christianity a Part of Your Life?

  1. Carol Moyer-Arnold

    Great thoughts Ken! It’s obvious when someone truly lives for Christ, they shine like a bright light in this dark world! A lukewarm Christian (Rev 3:16) is sickening to God!

    Like

  2. John Witt

    Did I finally get someone who understands what Jesus really taught?

    Like

  3. Steve Jimison

    There are a lot of fond memories of John at Hickman Mills and he hasn’t changed much. Probably still plays tennis!

    Like

  4. Craig Thomas

    I’ve had the good pleasure of knowing John for over 25 years. His godly character, knowledge of the scriptures and true dedication to the Lord has been a wonderful blessing to my wife, my son, and myself. I look forward so much to heaven, because it will be populated by people who “get it” like brother John!

    Like

  5. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Thank you Ken!! Your posts always go where I was not expecting them to. Wonderful new insight!!

    Like

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