Thursday, January 7, 2021

Salvation Is More Than Having A Ticket To Ride

“I have been crucified with Christ; 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 gave Himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20

<Journal Entry 1 August 2011> Sitting here waiting on Ephesian (the Haitian responsible for overseeing the property before I arrived) to find the tractor key. Learning Creole is a challenge – my brain is not as quick as it once was – Kle pou tracte la – Key for the Tractor – is about it for now. Who to help – Those who come to our fence and cry “You!” because they see an American and want to ask for help. Or the children behind block walls and an iron gate who long for the comfort of a mother they don’t have – a meal to answer the call of an empty stomach – as in the middle ages – being overweight is a sign of wealth and lacking for nothing – especially food – I am a walking billboard for opulence and a life of abundance – some of the Americans that I see here boast in the sacrifices they made to come to this country – it is actually the inconveniences they encounter that they consider hardships – do I do that as well? Lord help me if I do. Do I wear the fact that I have been called to serve and endure hardship like one of the battle ribbons I wore on my Army uniform? Lord forgive me. It is not about what we have done, but about what God has done in us and is doing through us. I see Americans wanting to create “little Americas with all of the amenities and comforts they are used to – a cultural and economic bubble. Am I describing myself? I think the Lord has given me a mirror so I can see my reflection (Matthew 7:3-5)  – not being hard on myself but being alert to the temptation – self-glorification is only a short walk from right standing and right thinking. I must remain vigilant.   <End of Entry>

It is easy to focus on yourself and allow that focus to supersede or become more important to the task that the Lord has called you to. We are called to be living sacrifices (Romans 12:1) and to sacrifice, by definition, means that you must give something up. It might be living in austere or primitive conditions. It might be as simple as turning away from worldly affections and practices. Being a Christian comes at a cost – first it is possible only because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. Jesus asked the Father if there was another way –

Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” – Luke 22:42-44

There was only one choice to be made – obedience or disobedience. God’s will is perfect – but it requires a sacrifice. Second –  living the Christian life requires the surrender of our will and a willingness to go and do what God requires for His purpose and glory and not our comfort. Pastor Rick Warren said, “God is not interested in your comfort but in your character.” That is a hard sell to many Christians in this country.

Our new life requires faith – sacrifice and obedience.  It is the life that Jesus lived – the life we that we are called to when we are born again. Salvation and our new life in Christ is more than a ticket to heaven.

Shine Bright my friend and glorify God with your life.  

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

No comments: