My mayor's brother had a Baptist girlfriend in high school and spent hours studying his Bible. After they graduated, he and his girlfriend had an argument and ended their relationship. Then, he went off to college. After a while, he came back home for a few days. He walked into the living room where his dad was reading the newspaper: "Dad," he said, "I've decided to become an atheist." Dad looked up from his newspaper and said, "Whatever you are, son, be a good one!" The son went back to college, and it wasn't long before he met a beautiful Catholic girl, and they decided to marry. "Dad," the young man announced, "I've decided to become a Catholic." "Well son," his dad replied, "I hope you make a better Catholic than you did an atheist." Thirty years later, the mayor's brother still hasn't finished his confirmation classes.
If you are a Christian, are you a good one? Is God ashamed to be your God? Or is He proud to call you His child? Hebrews 11 says that "These...were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city."
- Our eyes must be focused on desiring a better, heavenly country. In this world, we will never see perfection. Our country may continue to go down hill until it is destroys itself, but eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what good things God is preparing for those who love Him. Lay up your treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust (nor inflation) doth corrupt, and where thieves cannot break in and steal (also, heavenly treasures cannot be taxed!), for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. There is no greater purpose in life than living for Christ. He has prepared for us a city in glory (no evil, corrupt governments!); the New Jerusalem that will never pass away.
- Do not let anything distract you from your high calling, this race set before us. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Jesus kept His eye on the goal and did not pay attention to the shame and pain (and he went through much more suffering than we can imagine). He did this because He loves us and wants to save us from sin and this evil world, and today He sits on the right hand of God. Jesus died a painful death on the cross for you; you have no excuses for not giving your all for Him.
- Athletes train vigorously for their races; they watch their diet carefully, and they give their all to receive the satisfaction of winning a race and the fleeting praise of men. We are striving for an eternal reward, and the satisfaction of saying "I please God" and hearing God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" If athletes can be good athletes, let's be good Christians!
If you want to be successful at anything in life, you must give your all. If you want to please God and inherit an inheritance incorruptible, eternal in the heavens, that fadeth not away, you must give your all. God does not want lukewarm, wishy-washy Christians.
Whatever you are, be a good one!