Monday, June 9, 2008

My Life Song

Here I go, thinking again.

I love talking about things that mean a lot to me; convictions, beliefs, ideas and goals of mine that tend to be prominent pillars of who I am. However, I am realizing that these things should not be my passion and what makes me Sarah.

Because after all, although I am passionate about writing, the art of writing never saved me. It never gives me hope.

And though I love to discuss theology with friends, theology isn't what gives me life and eternity.

I love, love, love to be around intelligent, gracious people. (Highly civilized, as my family teases me by saying. :)) But intelligent people never gave me a reason to live.

I will always enjoy proclaiming my views on subjects such as Christian modesty, courtship, parenting, home education, etc., but my views on these subjects will not show a hurting world that Jesus loves and died for them.

When I speak, who am I proclaiming? Myself? When words flow from my mouth, are they my own understanding of perhaps Biblical, valid issues, or are they the words of the great foundation of these issues - Jesus Christ?

Oh, yes, these things are right. Yep - they're even worth fighting for. And sure, I would defend them left and right if the need arose. But truly, I think that some of the things we rant and rage over, some of the things that we proclaim to the world as truth, are not nearly as worth the time and effort proclaiming as Jesus Christ and His kingdom is.

There must be nothing more saddening to the heart of God then to see His children squabbling like accomplished bickerers over the smallest issues, or even the greater issues, when in reality they are all nothing in comparison with His great message to the world.

In the scope of eternity, what will it matter if I went to this church or that, if my friend taught in public school or not, if I believed one great doctrine while another didn't, if so-and-so went to college and this other person didn't, whether I wore striped jeans every day or dresses? Will it matter?! At all? No!

But what will matter is whether or not you loved and served Jesus Christ, and in whatever climate you lived in, in no matter what conditions, whatever color your skin or hair was, and even if, yes, you went to a bizarre church and believed a bizarre doctrine. (NOT that we should if we know better, but to many, the church WE attend is a bizarre church and the doctrine WE believe is a bizarre doctrine, just to put things in perspective, no matter how much we know we are right. Believe me, I understand how it feels to be right. Just ask me about any issue we disagree on.)

I am the first to advocate and even fight for the great truths of the Bible, the foundations of our faith, etc. But my stomach is also the first to get queasy when I observe Christians in my life divided and unhappy over things that are not important in eternity.

As Christians, we should be far more concerned about the name of our Creator being proclaimed to every living creature along with His praise, His worship and His glory, then we should be about our agendas, ideas and thoughts on issues being broad casted for all to hear. In the end, that doesn't matter. That won't hold. God will not be asking us when we stand before Him whether or not we told everyone about what we thought the Bible said. He will ask us, though, whether or not those in our lives saw us consumed with the fire of the Almighty; with the love of Jesus Christ and for His kingdom.

That is something worth fighting for. That is something worth living for. That is something worth dying for.

So I'm changing my life statement. Instead of Sarah being defined as, "a girl who wants to change the world," she will now be defined as, "a girl who's passion is Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone." IF that happens to change the world, so be it. It will only come about because God made it happen through me.

I choose not to ask of everyone the same, but as for me, my passion will be Jesus Christ. He must be glorified in everything that I do - He must be. When people look at my life, I will not be able to take any credit for anything I have done, because really, I'm not the One who has done it.

I may not ever become a famous author or a prolific musician, but that's okay with me. My life will be a song of the Savior of the world.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you even remember me... But I'm Leah Bousfield, and knew you looong time ago. So good to see that you are doing well and prospering in the Lord. God is good.
~ Leah Bousfield

Roshan said...

Interesting read! And how true. I am encouraged by your faith. This post reminds me of "Lifesong" by Casting Crowns. I like the fact you add a lot of your personality to your post! :)

God bless you!

Lady Ruth Ann said...

Sarah - so beautifully put in words!! This is so true!! :) It is so easy for me to get carried away by looking at people and see how they don't live up to "my" standards - standards that, like you say, I fully believe in and am confident that they are right. But God didn't pound those convictions onto me - He had to touch my heart and cause me to see where He wanted change. So I must not force them onto others either, but rather let God do the work. Let me glorify Jesus because He is the One who has done any good in me!

By the way, I have visited you from Leah Cross' blog where she has linked to you a few times.

Thank you SO MUCH! I should read this again, and again and again and again. I've got to ingrain it into my head - it is so important. We must be loving and examples of Jesus and seek to minister to them as the Lord gives us opportunity.

May the Lord bless you! :)

Leah said...

A big hearty AMEN, Sarah!

Michael Spotts: . said...

That was a worthwhile read, thank you.

Would I be pointing out the obvious, however, to suggest that such "zeal for a good thing" be carefully guarded from overstepping orthodox bounds?

You wrote,

"In the scope of eternity, what will it matter... if I believed one great doctrine while another didn't... Will it matter?! At all? No!"

I am sure there are many doctrines you automatically except from the above statement - i.e., the substitutionary atonement, the deity of Christ, the Trinity of God, etc. - of which, full adherence to is truly a matter of determinate eternal consequence. Two professing Christians may be full of ardor for their notions of Christ, even to give their bodies to be burned. At the Judgment if one is found to believe Sola Fide and the other maintains works for justification, rather than as the necessary evidence of justifying faith, then two persons shall not enter heaven that day.

There are certain doctrines which bar the way to salvation unequivicolly, and must be maintained as such at all costs. It is as much the act of Christian love and service to "contend for the faith" in essential truths, as it is to communicate any other aspect of our experience of Jesus - truly the greatest doctrines are the rebar of the faith we have in Christ!

Though well intended, such phrases as quoted above seem to imply a greater importance upon religious affections and intentions than the scriptural verities which set bearings to those passionate feelings. Without fixed points on our theological compass, where might rapid wanderings take us? Sadly, there are Mormons and Roman Catholics who earnestly believe themselves to be propagating the true Gospel of Christ. Some of these would even say, I am "consumed with the fire of the Almighty; with the love of Jesus Christ and for His kingdom," but of a Christ and kingdom different to that of biblical Christianity. Meanwhile, liberals stand ready to intercept and misuse such statements. Seeking credence for the broad latitude of their theology, these would eagerly exploit a sentence to include themselves in the Covenant family.

Sarah, unfamiliar as we are, I am greatly blessed to find you seeking to please the Lord, our Master. It appears you bear in your hold a cargo of gospel treasures, and now run the waters to ply them for the King. How ought you to go upon the sea with His pearls? With an intent to please an investor, a captain may speed towards his destination with manifest gusto. What commendation shall he receive if his master observes him driving the vessel so swiftly into port that he fails to mind the beacons which warn of established hazards? He shall be reprimanded for recklessness!

Speed is beneficial only in its relationship to direction; even so, zeal is desirable only in its proportion to sound judgment. Without essential doctrine we may serve another Christ fervently.

By your other writings, Sarah, I am confident that you know these things and believe them. It is not my intention to nit-pick, but I would admonish you never in the name of rhetorical impact to disparage "great doctrines." By God's decree they are of utmost eternal incident.

Blessed in Christ by your ardor,
Michael Spotts:.

PS: These are somewhat related:

Theology is meant to direct, not fascinate.
Milk to be squabbled over by the immature.

Sarah Byrum said...

Mr. Spotts,

Sir, I thank you from a truly grateful heart for approaching me with such a thought-out response. I intend to reply to you, but as it is late (nearly 11 p.m. my time) I will do so tomorrow. Thank you, kindly, again.

God bless you,
Sarah Byrum

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