This has been one of those years for me. In fact in the last 24 hours I've had another jolt concerned with ministry. I will go on, in spite of disappointment and knowing there will be major changes that don't suit my feelings; but like Anne, "...just give me Jesus," is all I can say.
So to answer my own probing questions:
What does Jesus mean to you? He is my life. Years ago I made an exchange when nothing in my life made sense. I remember that moment better than any other moment in my life. I had been trying to be a good Christian for years, but I hit a wall. I cried to the Lord and gave Him my everything then and for all time. Life burst in me at the moment I cried out; and that life is still the essence of my everything. Jesus Christ "PAID IN FULL" all my sin debts. I see a courtroom where all my wrongs, sins, mistakes, stupid judgment calls are read as crimes against me and Jesus walks up and says "Try Me instead." The Judge says, "She's free!" Instead of giving me license to live any way I want ... I live in gratitude and awe of such love. I am because I AM loved me, chose me, redeemed me and guides me to Thrive....forever. Just give me Jesus.
How has He changed your life? We don't have enough time or space to answer this, but briefly He gave me honor and respect. In Him I have no reason to live with shame, hopelessness or defensiveness. Humbly I realize I am intentional in His Eternal Kingdom and I don't have to prove myself to anyone else. I can look to others because I have no need to prove my worthiness...He's already done that. I am free to listen, care for and focus on others before myself. Recently a friend going through a traumatic chronic illness called me about nightmares. She's hanging on the edge wanting her way and a "bit" of Christianity for Hell insurance. I told her she had hit one reason I am so strongly vocal in my faith. I had nightmares every night until I married my dear husband. Then they were less frequent. When I committed all to the Lord, I have never had another nightmare. Amazing...in one day overwhelming trauma to a little girl was relieved and nightmares were no longer necessary to deal with unbearable feelings, etc. That's one of many, many ways my life is forever changed wonderfully by Son of God, Son of Man Jesus Christ.
How do you live out Christ in your life? I live my life with the "knowing" of the presence of Christ in me every moment of every day and night. Since I am aware of His presence my speech, my actions are significant that He is pleased. In fact, that is my major question at all times in all things, "Lord, does this please You?" I find what I sense with my Bible study instilled in me, what pleases the Lord does not always please all men. When I am rejected because I choose His way and that conflicts with someone else's wishes; it hurts, but the pain of rejection is not enough for me to choose other than what I believe pleases Him. So my life is not my own, thank goodness...it's His. Christ in me lives out a thriving life through my body, my personality and all the glory is His. Strong gentleness is how I see Him; I pray I am strong and gentle in all ways at all times.