Effective Christianity

          Why do I do what I do here at Crown Valley Youth Ranch? Because in the reality of eternity, the Kingdom of Heaven is near.

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this (one).”  — C.S. Lewis

          When our kids at Crown Valley Youth Ranch see the way we live our lives, what we prioritize, what we engage in and talk about – I pray that it would all point them Heaven-bound. Our kids are ensnared in worldly matters that are not just obstacles to them. These “worldly matters” keep some of our kids captive in a jail cell. I can’t unlock that cell, but I do know Who has the Key.

          I become an “ineffective Christian” in the moments where worldly matters grip my selfishness and claim the driver’s seat of my heart. Yes, worldly matters must be dealt with. I speak of “worldly matters” such as finances, relationships, health, and other day-to-day tasks. These in themselves are not sinful – but when our guard is down and our own selfishness creeps in, we are at risk of this selfishness taking control of our heart, our mind, and even our life. When that happens, no matter how brief, we become enslaved. The biblical and appropriate approach is to understand that although worldly matters can become obstacles, they cannot be ignored either. Praise God, Christ holds the Key to our freedom from being controlled by these “worldly matters” and our own natural selfishness.

          As I am reminded that these worldly matters are only material, my heart and mind are then free to focus on the eternal. I am a more effective Christian in my love and service when the new heaven and the new earth (the Kingdom of Heaven) are on the horizon of my heart. Passing through the veil into eternity is so near; my desire is to live in this world in a way that it would look as though I am living there already, for my citizenship is there.

          Why do I do what I do? Because in the reality of eternity, the Kingdom of Heaven is near.

         When we live as citizens of Heaven, these kids get a taste of what freedom (from the control of these “worldly matters” and our natural selfishness) looks like – and we pray they will have the strength to pursue Him who holds that Key.

Jesus himself once said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” – Matthew 13:44 ESV

Jesus also taught us: “As you go, preach this message: ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is near.’” – Matthew 10:7 ESV

Picture of Jazmine Shannon

Jazmine Shannon

Co-written by Stephanie Miller-Lacy