Living in Context
By Donna McCrary –
Forest Gump said, “My mama always says, ‘life is like a box of chocolates.’”
Renee Zellweger romantically confessed, “You complete me” in the movie, Jerry Maguire.
Martin Luther King shouted, “I have a dream!”
All of these famous quotes bring a smile to our face and an immediate reaction to the context in which they were stated. The context provides the punch. Many people claim, “I have a dream.” However, the context (position, person, and particular moment) of these spoken words are the cement that places them into the fabric of our culture. Same with the movie lines, it is the context (emotion, story line, and setting) that breeds recognition in the expressions.
Context is what gave new life to a powerful scripture for me. Context is what made it stand apart with a new and fresh perspective. “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24). Pull this out of context and it appears to say, “Ask for your wants, desires, dreams and all the things that will bring you temporary joy and I, Jesus, being in complete control will fill you with abundant joy just because you asked.” I must admit my prayers at times resemble this logic. However, after reading this in context of the setting, the Person, the emotion of the moment, I grasped a deeper understanding in Jesus’ Words.
In context, Jesus was speaking to His closest followers, His disciples; the people who walked away from normal to live radical. The people willing to forsake all they knew to exist daily trusting in Jesus to provide, teach, protect, and direct their steps. Jesus didn’t say these words to the miracle spectators. He said them to the dedicated men and women willing to walk by faith, take up their cross, and follow Him. In context, He proclaimed these words to the very people He called friends.
When I looked at the context of Jesus in my daily life, I had to ask myself some tough questions. Am I dedicated to living the radical life of a disciple? Do my actions resemble great miracles and mountain moving prayers? I know Jesus is true to His word! Will I put myself in the right context to experience His joy for me?
Are you living in the right context to experience joy in Christ?
PRAYER: Father, help me draw close to You and live my life in the context of Your plan for me.
“Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:24 NIV).