Rise Up and Become
By Lisa Nuss
Yesterday was a baptism day at GT, and I love these days! Watching people declare their faith in Jesus inspires me every time. It also reminds me of my own baptism day many years ago. At eleven years old, I understood that it was a significant moment in my life because I was declaring to everyone in the church that I believed in Jesus and was committing to live my life for Him. What I perhaps understood less at the time but much more so now was that I was committing to become more like Jesus every day of my life. EVERY day. Of my ENTIRE life. That’s quite an undertaking – a lifelong process with a goal that can only be fully attained in heaven. Some people might ask, if that’s the case why bother striving for it? I don’t know how you would answer that question, but for me the answer is found in the word becoming.
I came across a Will Rogers quote as a teenager and it’s stuck with me ever since. He said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” It challenged me then and still challenges me now. Accepting Christ as my savior got me on the right track, but what am I doing now that I’m on that track? Am I just sitting here not doing anything of significance, or am I becoming all that God wants me to be?
One definition of the word becoming is “growing to be.” This implies movement of some sort, and in our case as Christians, hopefully that movement is forward. I once heard it said that if you’re not moving forward then you’re moving backward. Now, you might argue that you could be standing still; but if you go by the Will Rogers quote, then you’ll just get run over. And the truth is, even when we think we’re standing still, we’re moving because the ground under our feet is spinning around at approximately 1,000 miles per hour. And we’re also revolving around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour. (For those of you not excited by science, I apologize for the impromptu astronomy lesson!)
As much as I’d love to say that I knew those facts about the planet Earth off the top of my head, the truth is that I had to look them up, which I was more than happy to do since I love research and learning. As much as it’s good for our brains to keep learning new things, it is imperative that we continue to learn and grow in our faith as well. The Bible challenges us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18) We can do that by diving deeper into scripture, praying, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
This is true for all of us, whether we’ve been a Christian for four days or four decades. Let me introduce you to a prime example of this – my grandmother. She’s an inspiration to me in many ways. She’s stayed active (rides her bicycle almost every day!), she’s always willing to learn something new, and most importantly, she lives life with a strong and abiding faith in the Lord. I recently had a conversation with her where we talked about faith and I discovered that she has been following Jesus for 45 years. Maybe at this point she could be thinking that she doesn’t have much more she could learn about living a Christian life, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. She told me that she still needs the Lord’s help every day and she is constantly growing with Him. I’ve always known that my grandmother is a woman of prayer and any time I need some strong prayers being said on my behalf, she’s the one I want praying for me! She talks with God and thanks Him every day, at all times of the day. He is her closest friend and an ever-present help to her. She is still in the process of becoming and is leaving a legacy of faith in the way that she lives her life and prays for her family. I am grateful for that and hope that I can leave that kind of legacy as well.
Am I more like Jesus now than I was at the age of eleven when I got baptized? I believe so. Do I still have a long way to go? Absolutely! Am I continuing to move forward and doing my best to follow Jesus’ example despite troubles and setbacks? With His help, I’m trying! In any journey of faith there are going to be mountains we climb and valleys that we travel through. What’s important is our answer to this question – what am I becoming along the way? For me, the answer to that question is more like Jesus.
1 Peter 2:1-3
Journal Prompt/Discussion Questions //
Think back to when you first decided to follow Jesus. How have you become more like Him?
What steps will you take to continue growing in your faith?
Dear Jesus, thank you for always being with me me as I journey through this life. As I am in the process of becoming more like you, I pray that you would use your Word to help me see where I need to change and give me the strength and wisdom needed to make those changes in my life. Let me never become complacent or content with where I’m at and help me to continually move forward in my relationship with You. In your name I pray, amen.