One thing that I'm good at is making a mean lasagna. Thanks to a recipe I found over twenty years ago that I’ve added my own little twist, birthing a creation of cheesy, satisfying goodness.
George Miller once said, “The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again.”
That’s the reason I don’t make my lasagna often because of expanding waistlines, but maybe it is time to rethink that decision.
I want to live a Christian life.
Ok, I know you are wondering what in the world does making lasagna have to do with leading a Christian life?
But first, I want to ask you, “How would you summarize or define a Christian life?”
Not easy to answer right?
But, Paul tells us in the book of 1 Thessalonians 1:3:
“As we pray to our God and Father about you, we think of your faithful work, your loving deeds, and the enduring hope you have because of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In short, Paul summarizes a Christian life being-
FAITH, LOVE & HOPE…. Demonstrated.
What does that look like practically?
We demonstrate faith by living every single day believing in the captivating and life-changing power of the one true God. We focus on Him despite the turmoil, hatred, division, and uncertainties that swirl around us. We look at this fallen world with honest eyes and believe that God is present, alive and at work regardless of what we see.
We demonstrate love with sacrificial service to others. Not because we emotionally love everyone rather, because we love God. He calls us to love others because Christ loved us first and He calls us to extend help to others with our only motivation being love for Christ.
We demonstrate hope by navigating life clinging to and depending upon God's power, protection, provision, and promises. Hope is the vessel that carries us through the treacherous waters that rise and threaten to overtake us in this fallen world.
God has called us to live holy lives (1 Thessalonians 4:7) in a world that is not holy.
Christian “holy” life = the demonstration of faith, hope and love.
With this command, I must stop and think about how this applies to my life.
How am I demonstrating faith, love, and hope especially during a time that our country seems to be divided by hate and contention?
Remarkably, also during a time that God appears to be trying to get our attention, as evidenced by the recent solar eclipse that traversed this country. (Did you know that the last time a solar eclipse crossed the United States was June 8, 1918, and was followed by a flu pandemic that killed over 675,000 Americans? (You may say coincidence, but I say no coincidences with God!))
If you are interested in learning more about God’s signs, I would encourage to you watch this video from Australian Pastor Steve Cioccolanti of Discover Ministries- it is long but, compelling.
Regardless of your thoughts on signs, I don't believe there is a person living in this country today that can say we don't need something to change. That chaos, turmoil, violence, fear, hate and division are marching across this country like an army.
So, again I must stop and ask how am I living a holy life?
I’m ashamed to say that I don’t really have the “love” thing down very well. Sure, it is easy to love and to do kind things for people in my inner circle that I care about. However, God calls us to demonstrate His love to strangers and even to our enemies.
“If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit? Even sinners do that much!” Luke 6:32-33
This is my struggle- loving the unknown, the difficult or unlovable and finding ways to demonstrate God’s love in a meaningful way.
As I'm wrestling with this weakness, my daughter calls to tell me about her day and shares how she just made my lasagna recipe and will be delivering the lasagna to a woman that she doesn’t know.
Christ’s love shown in the delivery of lasagna.
Love demonstrated with something as simple as a home-cooked meal.
(Food for thought & for the soul!)
So, in these times of turmoil, (especially if you claim to be a Christ follower) how well are you demonstrating your faith, Christ’s love and hope to this world?
I think we are called to do a self-inspection, change our hearts where needed, seek Christ first above all else and then demonstrate our holy lives to others!
Guess it’s time for me to get cooking and share some goodness with the world!
What about you?
Father, help us to live holy lives especially in these days of turmoil. Place a passion in our hearts to demonstrate Christian lives of love, hope, and faith to this pitiful world. May we focus on you alone and not get caught up and distracted by the chaos and hate that is running rampant in our society. May we cling to your promises and have the courage to share that only you are the solution. We are never promised tomorrow so help us make the most of the days that you have given.
Three things will last forever--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13