For aproximately a year, I freelanced for a youth publication called Journey Devotional Magazine (JDM). Below is a sample of my contribution to their monthly catalog of daily devotions:
by Brian Phillips
Have you ever wondered what it must have been like when dinosaurs walked the face of the Earth? I have. In fact, I have sometimes wondered what it would have been like if dinosaurs and man had coexisted. I suppose any of the Godzilla or Jurassic Park movies gives us a glimpse of that. But I have a difficult time picturing a dinosaur walking across my yard and gobbling up my neighbor’s dog!
Seriously, though, there have been times when I have really contemplated the existence of dinosaurs. I mean, I believe in them-that they once lived and walked around on this planet-for all the evidence is there. Their footprints. Their fossilized bones. The impressions of their bodies left in prehistoric tar pits. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy for me to believe. To actually think that there once existed reptilian monsters that stood anywhere from a foot to 3 stories tall is beyond my imagination! Most of the time I’m just not capable of grasping that reality.
Sometimes I have the same problem with Jesus. The reality that God, covered in flesh, walked the face of the Earth is far too much for me to grasp. Yet, all the evidence is there. The historical accounts of His teachings and miracles passed on by word of mouth and inscribed onto scrolls and shards of clay, which have survived for almost two thousand years. Symbols of His life and that of His followers, such as the cross or the sign of the fish used by Christians of old to secretly identify fellow believers. Or the highly improbable perpetuation of his story by a rag-tag team of local fishermen and tent makers, most of whom were killed in short order for what they believed and taught. Why, there wasn’t even CNN to help spread His message around the world, yet there are few people today who haven’t heard the name of Jesus in one form or another.
But the greatest evidence that Jesus, the Son of God, once visited this planet is us! We are the living, breathing proof that Jesus once lived and walked on the face of the Earth. When we submit to Him, and replace our will with His, He actually comes and lives WITHIN us! We are no longer just old, dead fossils-mere skeletons of our former selves-but live, warm, fleshly dwelling places of the One in Whose control we place our lives. We may not have a Kodak snapshot of Jesus to show people, but we, ourselves, become a snapshot of Him.
Believing in dinosaurs won’t make you a dinosaur. Believing in Jesus Christ won’t make you a Christian. We become followers of Jesus only when we submit our lives and will to Him. Doing so invites Christ to take up residence in our very being. Then, rather than just an imprint of something that was once extraordinary, we become that extraordinary thing-a sort of genetic reproduction of the original. God . . . Jesus . . . the Holy Spirit lives within us and begins a process of molding us to His likeness. But first we must say, “Here’s my life. Take it!”
So What Now?
One of Jesus’ most common invitations was, “Follow me!” One time He said that in response to the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Following someone has several implications:
- To follow someone, you must stay close to them.
- To stay close to someone, you must know them.
- To really know someone, you must spend time with them.
And that’s what Jesus wants from you: your time. In order to have a relationship with Jesus, you must spend time with Him, get to know Him, grow closer to Him and follow Him. When you do this, maybe, just maybe, you’ll find it a little easier to believe.
For more devotionals, click on any one of the titles in the column to the right.