Friday, September 5, 2014

Lessons from Rest: Simplify (3) - PASSION

If you haven't read my previous two posts on Simplicity, stop. You're going out of order. If you have, read on.

This idea of living simply goes deeper then just sitting down, re-aligning your schedule, or putting some stuff on craigslist. Yes, you have to want it, and understand why you need it, and commit to pursuing it, but ultimately what this discussion really boils down to is the word "values." What are your values? What drives you? What do you want your life to mean? Who do you live for? Before you can simplify your life, you need to know what drives you...or to put it another way, what are you passionate about?

Pastor Louie Giglio defines passion as this; "the degree of difficulty we are willing to endure to accomplish the goal." What is your goal, and how passionate are you for it?

Jesus had a goal...His goal was to glorify His Father, Jahweh, and to complete the work that God had set before Him. How passionate was He for that goal? The cross answers that question. The cross of Christ is the passion of Christ...it is the amount of pain and difficulty He was willing to endure to accomplish His goal.

So what about you and me? If we are believers, our goal must be to do as the apostle Paul said;
"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."

The cross of Christ is, how John Piper puts it, "the blazing center of the Glory of God." We magnify God when the cross of Jesus Christ becomes our only boast. Piper goes on to say this;

"Every good thing - indeed every bad thing that God turns for good - was obtained for us by the cross of Christ...everything that you enjoy in Christ - as a Christian, as a person who trusts Christ - is owing to the death of Christ." (John Piper - Passion, page 20)

To live a simple life, starts with knowing what the goal is. Our goal should be nothing short then magnifying and glorifying God in everything. We do this by making much, boasting, in the cross of Jesus Christ. The more we recognize that everything good we enjoy - indeed, even bad things that God uses and turns for good - all of these are gifts from God to us, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ...the more we recognize this, the more passion we will have for Him.

To live a simple life starts with having a single goal...what is the goal of your life?

"Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Make it your aim to live for nothing less than the glory of God. Learn to view your life differently. Everything you receive, every breath, as a gift obtained for you by the cross. Everything you give and do, with the goal of magnifying Christ and in so doing, glorifying the Christ. With his mindset, there will soon be no more "mundane" tasks...for the mundane task becomes a gift...either one you receive because of the cross, or one you give to magnify Jesus.

"And all boasting - all exultation - should be boasting in the cross...[let] Christ get glory and thanks and honor for every good thing in our lives and every bad thing that God turns for good." (Piper)

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