from Faith in the News
What are four signs that you are growing closer to Christ? Here is our list of four:
Being Persecuted for Proclaiming the Gospel
Many people grow discouraged when they are persecuted for telling others the good news but that is a strong indication that you are doing what you’re supposed to do be doing because Jesus said “they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20b) and “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). This is because “you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master” (John 15:1920a). If you are increasingly doing what Christ did then you are growing closer to Christ. You cannot be Christ like without suffering like Christ did!
Being More Sensitive to Sin
Another sign you’re growing closer to Christ is that you’re becoming more sensitive to sin. When I sin, and we all do (1 John 1:8, 10), I think of the cross and just how high of a price that Jesus paid for my sins and this drives me to repentance and confession of my sin immediately. Maybe you’ve already discovered that over time you have grown increasingly sensitive to sin. I don’t like to keep long accounts of sin. I find that the Holy Spirit convicts me more easily of sin that He did a few years ago. I desperately want to be more like Christ and that prompts me to be even more like Jesus was…perfectly holy and without sin, but realizing that I will never be sinless in this life. Even so, my desire is to sin less. If that’s you, then you are growing closer to Christ.
The Desire to be in the Body
Jesus is the Head of the Church and He is the Great Shepherd. I don’t miss church very often but when I do, I feel like there is something missing. It’s like a gaping hole in my heart. I yearn to be with Christ’s Body, the church. This seems to be more overwhelming than it was a few years ago so if you are growing closer to Christ, your desire to be with Christ’s Body, the church, should also grow.
Seeking to Serve More
Jesus said that He came not to be served but to serve (Matt 20:28). Remember when Jesus washed the disciple’s feet? He even washed Judas’ feet, the one who would betray Him. Since Christ has ascended to the right hand of the Father, we are to be Jesus’ hands, feet, and mouth while on earth. In the church where I pastor at, I have noticed an increasing desire in the Body to serve in areas that no one else is serving in. That is very much like Christ. If you are increasingly serving others in the church and even those in the world, you are growing closer to Christ because that is what Christ did.
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman