Jesus talked a lot about food and a lot about celebrating. This was a constant theme for him. Celebration and thanksgiving for all that God has done is a discipline that ought to be part of our lives each day.
Yet many people believe that in order to follow Jesus, you have to give up a life of celebration. They believe that Christianity in general is restraining…. People from the outside view Christianity as a set of rules that say we must live in a certain way, look the same way, and that we “must not smoke, drink, dance, or associate with those who do.” Personally, I think it’s sad that people view Christians like this and I think it’s our fault for not truly living the way God has made us. John 10:10 tells us that Christ came to give us an abundant life. Too many times we make this life look more boring than abundant!…
I know that if you are following Jesus, your life isn’t always easy. Sometimes we go through really difficult times. In fact, Jesus assures us that as his followers we are to expect persecution, suffering, and all kinds of trials. I’m not oblivious to that either. We don’t need to walk around with fake smiles. But it’s also imperative that we change the world’s perception of Christ and his followers. If he gave us an abundant life and if we have received his grace, then our lives should show it.
The reality is that Christ came to free us to live a life of excitement, adventure, and fulfillment. In Christ, we have received all the grace, mercy, and peace that we could ever want or need. Through the Holy Spirit we have confidence, strength, and power to do things others won’t. In fact, if we are honest, God has already answered all the hard questions in this life by sending Jesus Christ. No matter what happens, even in the difficult times, we can have a hope, joy, and peace that those who don’t know Christ don’t have…. We are going to eat and celebrate forever in heaven with our God. Why not practice today?
(Source: Zach Zehnder, Red Letter Challenge, pp. 70-72.)