Friday, October 10, 2014

Stop Watching The Video and Start Living The Life

I'm no different than you. I can get just as distracted by life. The long To Do list, the bills, the children, work, tasks; so many tasks. Just living creates a huge To Do list and it is an easy thing to allow that To Do list to move us from one thing to the next in our day, from one day to the next. We can get to the end of our week and ask ourselves "Is this really what my life is about?" Is it?

As a Christian I am compelled to respond with an emphatic "NO!" Jesus warned us against chasing after the priorities of this world and to set the Kingdom priorities before us all the time. These priorities help shape our world view and the purpose for living. Perhaps it is time that we remember a few facts and I would like to use a few verses from Romans 2 to do that.

Now before I am misquoted here, let me say, it is well understood that good works will not save us; only Jesus saves. However, good works is the fruit of that salvation and ongoing relationship with Jesus. The Word of God is clear that the "tree" is known by its "fruit". So understanding this we listen to Paul's warning about the facts of life:

(Yahweh) “will render to each one according to his deeds”. (Romans 2:6)

This is a fact about life that the vast majority of this world population does not understand. The "deed" is only a fruit or manifestation of the heart condition. What we do, what we say, matters. It is important that Christians maintain a tender heart to Jesus so the Spirit can produce in us the things that prompt us to good works:

Eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality (v. 7)

Doing good is the fruit that is produced in the life of someone possessed by Jesus Christ, who live for his glory. Doing good is not the catalyst of salvation but the fruit that shows the rightness of the heart. The opposite is also true:

But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek. (v. 8-9)

These actions are only a window to a heart that is chained by its sin nature. It cannot help but do these things because it is without the transformation of Jesus Christ. This knowledge should shape our day. We should understand the purpose is not the task but the people included in that task. Our life is not what we accomplish but the people we impact.

The Christian life is not how much time we spend in the Bible, prayer, meditation, worship but instead how these activities change us to live our purpose. If these activities are producing nothing in us then we need to examine the condition of our heart and relationship with Jesus. What matters at the end of the day is how our faith is impacting the lives of the people Jesus gave us to love. We need to take our example from him and not just speak the words but put them into action.

Is the purpose of your life to serve yourself or to humbly love others through service to them? We need to spend some more time meditating on and then responding to the teaching and direction of Jesus. Stop watching the video and start living the life.

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