Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is your gospel worth?

27 "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ..." (Philippians 1:27)

If you have been reading this blog lately, you might sense in me an unrest, or a wrestling and working out of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. To be honest, you're right. The older I get, and, I hope, wiser, the more it seems that there are aspects of my life that don't match up with what a disciple looks like.

It all boils down to this;
- Do I love God through Christ more than anything?
- And do I show that love by obeying Him, and investing in the things that matter most to God?

Of course, the great enemy is 'self.' The things that so often consume me, and us, quite frankly, just don't matter in light of the gospel. A house, a car, health, nice clothes, a good computer, retirement, vacation, a good night of sleep, hobbies, etc. The list is endless. But is it God's list for my life? None of those things are bad, and God does give us good gifts to enjoy...and then there's that verse up there, that hangs like a sword in mid-air. When it lands, what side will I be on? What is the gospel, and what does it mean to live a life "worthy" of it?

1 "Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you... (3) For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.. "

Put simply, the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is this;
God created us in his image; We turned from God in sin; A Holy and Just God cannot leave sin un-punished...our sin leads to death and separation from God forever; Jesus Christ took our punishment, God's wrath, for us; Through Jesus we are now reconciled back to God...but ONLY through Jesus.

There are two possible destinations for every living soul; heaven, which is attained through faith in Jesus, and hell, for everyone else. sound harsh? Not at all - harsh would have been if God didn't send Jesus, and left us in our sin forever...but even that wouldn't have been harsh as much as justified. What's amazing is the love of God which made a way for ANY who would believe in His Son, a way back to Him.

As of 2005, approximately 155,000 people die every day worldwide. That works out to 107 people every second. In the time it takes me to write this blog, over 6000 people will step into an eternity...either  an eternity with Christ forever, or an eternity of suffering apart from Him. Do I really believe this? If I live to be 80 years old, or even 90, what is 90 years in light of eternity? Is my life counting for the gospel of Christ?

I want you to wrestle with this question, as I am. What does it mean to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ? Jesus, who was completely innocent, took on himself the wrath of God...the punishment that our sin deserved. He did this in obedience to His Father, and because of His love for us. Apart from Christ, every single human life would have ended up in hell...eternally separated from God. But because of Christ, we now have an opportunity for LIFE. That is the "good news." What does it mean to live a life worthy of that gospel?

It means saying "yes" to God without delay
It means caring about the things God cares about
It means fully surrendering to Him in everything
It means yielding to His Spirit at all times, no matter what
It means a willingness to do anything, go anywhere and spend everything, for Him
It means taking risks for God, attempting things that will only succeed if God intervenes
It means living a life of faith and trust, not "risk management"
It means talking about His love in your life with everyone you meet
It means offering your body, daily, hourly, as a "living sacrifice" to Him
It means wrestling with God in prayer

Most of the world doesn't "get" our American Christianity; where we switch churches if we don't like the music, or the services run too long, or the kid's teacher/youth group leader doesn't fit our "style." Christians around the world are dying for this gospel. I recently heard of a believer who, only hours after converting to Christianity, was killed, martyred for his faith. This is not something to mess around with. It's life or death.

I believe I would, with God's strength, die for Him. But as one pastor put it recently, what is easier to do? To die for God, or to live for Him? And I had to ask myself, while I'm ready to die for Christ, will I live for Him? Will you? God is doing something in me...a stirring, an awakening. I want my life to count...

27 "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ..." (Philippians 1:27)

1 comment:

♥ cherelle said...

AMEN! I enjoyed the Love Series, but this post hit home for me.

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