By Ken McNaughton, Fire Chaplain
Colossians 3:3-4 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.”
Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”
These two scriptures are crucial to understanding the state of the Church today. The gospel being widely preached today proclaims, ‘Come to Jesus and He will give you a better, more abundant life’. Many of you right now are agreeing with that statement seeing nothing wrong in its content. Jesus did NOT come to give us a better life! Jesus came to BE OUR LIFE! This may seem like semantics to some of you, but it is in fact a deadly shift that has taken place in the Church.
Being a Christian today is more about embracing a certain kind of lifestyle rather than Christ being our LIFE. Consider a newborn baby. It is full of life, hungry, needy and ready to start learning and growing. However, it has no thoughts of lifestyle patterns to ‘live’ by and keep up appearances. All it is concerned with is crying out for the nurturing that only the One Who gave it LIFE can offer. Its dependency upon the parent is ALL it knows and understands. Listen carefully to these plain and direct words spoken by Jesus:
Matthew 18:2-4 “Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Do you see and hear what He is really saying? He says we have to be just like that little child, completely dependent upon Him for everything! Today people have made Jesus part of their lifestyles fitting Him in where they have time for Him. As long as they give Him a portion of their time, talents and treasure they are perceived as godly. Jesus didn’t die so that we might ‘fit Him into our schedule’ for one or two days a week. He didn’t shed His precious blood for a few of our dollars to help the Church make it through this difficult time! He didn’t endure the ridicule of becoming flesh and blood so that we might one day make Him part of our weekly routine and lifestyles! He came to be our LIFE! The real gospel calls every man and woman to lay down their lives, crucify their fleshly desires and lifestyles, die to self and through the power of the Holy Spirit be raised to newness of LIFE IN CHRIST! Anything less than this kind of commitment will fall short of the glory of God.
Are you committed to seeing our nation return to the proclamation of the real gospel one heart at a time, one church at a time, one home at a time, one preacher at a time? This is not supposed to be a lifestyle change for us, but rather a commitment for LIFE. Lifestyle changes can change as easily as one changes their diet year after year. We are called and created to be different! When a baby is born it is given a name that stays with it their entire life. We, too, are given a NAME that is written in the Lamb’s book of LIFE when we choose to receive Christ as our LIFE. As Christians, Christ is not part of our lives, He IS OUR LIFE!
If you find that you have somehow walked away from Christ being your LIFE and have made Him just part of your lifestyle, then call out to Him right now asking Him for mercy and forgiveness. He is ever ready to live and move and have His being in you, but you must completely surrender ALL, not AL – most.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21 “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Remember, God never intended for us to make Christ “part” of our life. He wants us to surrender our life – to Him.
Serving the REAL Chief,
Ken McNaughton, Fire Chaplain, Spokane County Chaplaincy