Whenever my brain waves begin to lay flat and my mind becomes exhausted from a day of writing, I grab a glass of tea and the TV remote. I depend on Joanna Gaines and Giada DeLaurnetiis to give my mind a break. They offer the inspiration I need to fill a skillet or two for supper.
Cooking shows typically begin with a tantalizing picture of the dish about to be prepared. If the picture looks tasty, I’ll stick around thinking I might try it someday. It’s always a process; but I’ve come to enjoy that process. I love replicating new recipes that come from sources I’ve learned to trust. My family and friends, for the most part, don’t resist the dishes I place in front of them. When bellies are full, everyone seems to enjoy one another so much more.
No doubt, many of us will gather around family tables for Easter. For some, it is just a holiday filled with hidden eggs, chocolate bunnies, and spring flowers. For Christians, Easter is a day of grand remembrance. It reminds us to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection all year long. And who doesn’t love a year-long celebration?
Yet, how we feel about Jesus determines whether or not we passionately participate in that kind of celebration. The former atheist C.S. Lewis believed each of us must decide for ourselves whether Jesus was a lunatic, a liar, or Lord. If He was either lunatic or liar, then He could not be Lord. If He was Lord, He could be neither lunatic nor liar.
It only takes a quick internet search to hear all of the pro and con arguments for each of those descriptions of Jesus. I used to enjoy that kind of banter, partly because I love to learn, but mostly I just wanted to prove I was right. However, I’ve repented from that attitude and discovered a most wonderful and absolutely irrefutable “argument”, if you can call it that. It’s so simple that I’m embarrassed I missed it for so long. It invites, rather than pushes. Yet, like most simple things it requires intentional time and exceptional diligence to convey properly. So, what IS this complex, yet simple thought? Here it is:
You may argue about my theology, but you cannot
argue with my transformation!
Yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord, the Son of God.
I believe He has, can, and will do all He says He can do.
Most importantly, I believe that He has, can, and continues to willingly do all those things for me!
Because I believe those things, I trust that Jesus sits beside God right now as my defense attorney, friend, brother, and the one who gave me a right relationship with God. I trust that His Holy Spirit lives inside of me. His lovingkindness helped ushered in my physical healing so that I would be convinced of His power and have the strength to serve others. His Spirit convicted me of all my legalism and helped me find spiritual rest in the love of God and the grace of Jesus. His Word healed my depression by transforming my mind, will, and emotions. I have an abundance of peace like I’ve never known, and I look forward to seeing how God will most definitely orchestrate the rest of my days.
There is no other counselor, friend, pastor, teacher, family member, neighbor, or doctor that could do all that Jesus has done for me. He has changed me from the inside out. Because my spirit participated in His death, burial, and resurrection, and I exchanged my will for His, I am a new creation! My life has been resurrected from the ashes, and no one can make me believe there’s a better way to live. And, apparently, no one can shut me up either! Yes, you may argue with my theology, but you cannot argue with the transformation I have experienced.
I’m praying that each of our lives will serve up a dish so tantalizing that those who’ve become exhausted and weary will stick around long enough to try it someday. Then, maybe they’ll want to replicate it. Your life’s transformation just might be the healthy helping of inspiration someone else needs to fill their bellies full of faith. Never underestimate the power of a tasty meal prepared by the hands of Jesus!
“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.”
Psalm 34:4-10 NLT