Max Lucado wrote: "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior."

How often many people forget this. In life, various professions get praised and touted as being the best. In a way, these praises follow fads: astronomers when a new planet or astral phenomenon is discovered; chemists when new combinations of chemicals are formulated.

There is nothing wrong with this at all! It’s just that God is forgotten in the midst of all the hoopla.  God provided those skills and intellectual abilities for those discoveries and progressions.

It is unfortunate that God is so frequently forgotten or discounted, especially because he has given the ultimate gift in our lives. He provided a way for us to be reconciled to himself. He came to us in the person of Jesus Christ because our greatest need in life was and is forgiveness.

That is the ultimate gift. That is the ultimate reason for thinking of God every moment of every day.

When it comes to being a Christian, our main focus in life is to be on what has been done for us in Jesus Christ. At a minimum we have to remember God is our Creator, Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior, God’s Holy Spirit is God’s presence and power working in us and through us, and the Church is the Body of Christ doing the work and ministry of Christ in the world. Everything else in our faith builds on this foundation. 

There are standards for us Christians by which we are expected to live. What are some?

To love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength.

To love your neighbor as yourself.

To put away vulgar talk, off-color jokes and judgments of other people.

To overcome evil with good.

To make disciples.

To care for others without drawing attention to yourself. 

To act justly and walk humbly with God.

Being a Christian is not a title to be attached to your name. Being a Christian is a way of life. It is making the declaration that you are going to live according to the ways of Jesus Christ and the expectations God sets before you in scripture.

How are you doing with focusing on God, Jesus Christ and God’s Holy Spirit? Tomorrow starts the Christian new year.

How about a resolution to do even better than you are now?

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.