Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Christ + ? (2 of 2)

First, if you haven't read my previous post titled "Secret Things," go back and read it. This post kind of takes off from there.  I ended that post with this Scripture verse found in Deuteronomy;

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deut 4:29)

I am daily confronted with something in myself that I hate, but seem powerless to get rid of.  Pride, Selfishness, Desires.  I pray, but often my prayers are for my comfort.  I pray for health, for provision, for job security, for a raise or bonus, for recognition for things I've done, for honor.  Even my prayer for other people are often self-motivated.  Sure, I might "pray" for closeness with God, but so often they seem to be merely words.  Truth?  I'll grow closer to God as I go through tests, trials or tragedies, yet I would never pray for those things.  I would grow closer to God if I experienced persecution, yet I never ask for that.

It seems that I've settled for a different Gospel.  Christ + ________ (fill in the blank); or worse, ________ (fill in the blank) + Christ.  What I want is "my life + Christ."  But when I read the Bible, I see Jesus said this;

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it." (Matthew 16:25).

The gospel is Jesus + nothing.  It's Christ and Christ alone.  It's total and complete surrender.  It's the "free gift that will cost you everything" or enemy of God.

This is a challenging truth to live out and I confess I don't have this one nailed.  I am blessed.  God has blessed me in so many way; a beautiful wife, a son, a house and cars, health, a great family, a great country where I'm free to live and worship, retirement accounts (even if they are low), and so much more.  Would I give all of it up for Christ if He asked for it?

The truth?  Jesus + nothing = everything.

Here's the challenge, for me at least.  I am wired as one of those people who loves to "finish" things, to check off the boxes and cross items off the to-do list.  I have a hard time when I have projects unfinished hanging over my head.  And yet, I know that to be a Christian, I will never "arrive."  It's a daily struggle to run this race.  I am wired for the 40 yard dash, and yet God has called me to run a 50k.

My goal must be to live today, for Christ, and for nothing else.  Go back to that verse in Deuteronomy; If I pursue him with 3/4 of my heart, not enough.  If I give Him 95% of my soul, not good enough.

My encouragement for you?  Don't you dare, for one single second, take your eyes off of Christ.  He MUST be everything in your life; your strength, your insurance, your motivation.  He won't settle for anything else...in fact, He demands this from us.

What right does He have to demand this from us?  One word.  Cross.

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