NEW SERIES, WEEK ONE OF FIVE
I’m one of those Christians who used to focus all my efforts on, “To be a ‘good Christian’ there are certain things I must regularly check off my list to please God”.
I know I was saved by the blood of Christ because of God’s amazing grace, and so didn’t earn my salvation. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for Jesus, so I serve him daily, motivated by love and gratitude. Yet for too long, I thought my service was that which either garnered God’s greatest love, or in those moments I failed, his disaporoval. I never considered He’d throw me out of heaven, mind you. Jesus paid for my salvation. But because I didn’t realize the depth of love that drew me, nor the power Christ holds to keep me, I believed the lie that I had to perform to please.
My “necessary” list wasn’t long, and not “legalistic” in my mind. After all, my list included only those things Jesus said I needed to do. “I must have a quiet time; I must pray; I should share my faith regularly. I need to go to church; I need to love my neighbor.” I generally enjoy these activities very much, but when I failed to do them – GUILT attacked because I lived under a false perception of God.
There is truth to my basic assumptions, as God does state clearly many times in his Word “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) He also states that we are to set our minds on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2) Yet, as I grow in my relationship with Jesus, I’m learning the key to my richest life in Christ comes when my focus shifts from what I devote to him to who he is and what he’s done.
I’m discovering the greatest joy in my walk with Christ comes as I grow in intimacy with him. My obedience then flows out of doing those things that allow me the greatest opportunity to know him fully, rather than coming from my fear of displeasing him.
This seems like a small shift in perspective, only mincing words, but I’m finding the reality, played out, leads to quite a dramatic change in the outcome.
As I look at the moral crisis in America, along with the decline in many aspects of the church in America, I’m confident if that seemingly small shift in perception were corrected and acted upon, the church would meet that crisis head on and make a dramatic difference.
Over the next 5 weeks, I’d like to take the opportunity to look at various aspects of the Christian walk from a fresh perspective in the hopes that, as believers who love and follow Jesus, we will come away with renewed hope that the church can and will change the world. Will you join me?
September 6: “A Fresh Look at Jesus”
September 13: “A Fresh Look at My Relationship With Jesus”
September 20: “A Fresh Look at Daily Devotion”
September 27: “A Fresh Look at Worship”
I’d like to end by introducing a song I recently heard for the first time, entitled “The Gospel” by Ryan Stevenson. The cry of my heart in this series is for God’s people to be reintroduced to the Lover of Their Souls, and the Power that raises the dead and makes blind eyes see. Please join me, for I believe the gospel of Jesus proclaimed through His church is still the only answer. It’s the only remedy to the crisis we find ourselves in.
With greatest hope because of the Gospel,