One trip to the mall with speakers blaring “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” was enough to send me seeking something more for Christmas, something genuine. I thought immediately of Sacred Intent, the book written by SLU Vice President, Dr. Brent Crowe. Once I read his words, it quickly became one of my personal favorites for devotional reading. I keep going back to Brent’s question: “What would life look like if we intentionally and intently choose to live and act with purpose every day? If God got His way in our lives?” Now that would be Christmas fulfilled indeed.
Seriously, if your life were only a week, a mere seven days, what would that look like? My first guess is that our to-do list and a few friends and events would quickly change. Just imagine: If you are a high school student about to graduate, your life might just be on Tuesday of life’s 7-day week. A college graduate might be walking through mid-week, and some of us, are already hitting sundown on Friday. So even though we can’t choose when or where we are born or when or how we will die, there is much we can do with the days and breaths in between.
The moments of life are only the title page for eternity, the introduction chapter to a greater story that will never end.
C. S. Lewis
If you have experienced the LIFT Tour, you have been challenged to “seek that which is above,” to make Jesus your greatest passion, and to realize that if you are “in Christ” you gain a new position, personality, and potential. The Apostle Paul raises the bar by teaching in Colossians that Jesus is not only the wonderful Savior born in a manger, but the preeminent Lord, the Creator of everything. He is in fact “our all-in-all.”
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.
To live a life of purpose and sacred intent is to begin it with an understanding of who Christ Jesus the Lord is. Each word brings about worship and completes our full relationship with Him.
He is Christ: the Anointed One, the Promised One, the Sent One, and the Messiah. The Old Testament promised 333 times “He is coming!” He fulfilled every one: born in Bethlehem of a virgin named Mary.
He is Jesus; that is, “Jehovah is Salvation.” That is His human name. The angel said to Mary “You will call Him Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” John 1:14 tells it straight – “Jesus became flesh and moved into the neighborhood.” (The Message).
He is Lord of all. The word Lord, used over 6,000 times in the Bible means “sovereign, master, ruler, and owner”. In the four Gospels, we see that God kept His promise through a sacred life on the earth; and throughout the entire New Testament, 316 proclamations declare that this Lord of all is returning in the same way He left – the same nail scarred hands, the same tear-stained cheeks. You might have doubts about this from time to time, but you can be absolutely confident that just as He kept His promises in the Old Testament, He will keep the promises of the New Testament.
I will never forget standing on the street in Bethlehem next to a Palestinian student attending a part of our SLU 401 program. Over several days he asked me questions and listened, and then all of a sudden he said, “Dr. Jay, I want to build a manger in my heart for Jesus.”
Our prayer for all of our students, parents, youth pastors and educators, is that each of you will build a manger in your heart and purpose to live a life of sacred intent, one worthy of Christ Jesus the Lord.