Thursday, July 9, 2015

Expressing The Christian Life

So, you say you are Christian. What does that mean to you? There are a lot of people who say they are Christian but have no idea what they are claiming, and those who do understand don't necessarily know how it should be expressed. Most as satisfied with attending church and singing worship songs. For many this is about it when it comes to expressing their life as a Christian, but we have been saved for greater things.

I don't mean greater things for you. I don't mean a more comfortable life. Quite the opposite. The Christian life is meant to be lived uncomfortably. Even those who understand this life have not mastered it, but they are at least wrestling with it.

Now if you have studied Jesus at all you will know he taught some very uncomfortable things, like saying no to yourself, taking up your God-given calling and living as he lived; which means loving as he loved. But for the sake of brevity and simplicity today I want to make my point with one simple passage found in the powerful letter to the Ephesians:

You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Now let's just focus on this for a moment, "created in Christ Jesus to do good things". To do good things. Our life is not about us because we have received everything we need through Jesus and he is always there for us to run to, to get strength from. He is our encourager and helper in all we are called to do. And what we have been called to do is breathe goodness into other people's lives.

Now look at this: "God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives". This is our Christian expression, the goodness we breathe into the lives of others, the little things and big things. Our life is about being good to others. Helpful, generous, encouraging, pleasant, polite, joyful are all words that should describe who we are to others.

We know we are getting it wrong when we are easily offended by people, when we are too busy for people, when we don't notice the people around us, when kind is not how people would describe us. When we are constantly taking from people instead of adding to them, when everything is about us, when people don't want to be around us, we know we are failing.

So I ask you today, how are you expressing your faith in Christ?

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