'How should we then live?'
......asked Francis Schaeffer in his book of the same title from the seventies (yep, I was alive then, barely!). Most of us are living our lives with little idea of how to do it, live life, that is. Our most influential educators, TV, music, media and the movies try to show a way, yet still we stumble along in ‘lives of desperation’. Look around. How many families do you know that are working really well? How many people are stressed by money, marriage and time poor living? How many people do you know who 'have it all together'.
God doesn’t just have new life for us. He has a new way of life for us. It’s different to the one we live without him. This way brings us our 'best life', a life of a different kind. The life of a disciple, someone with a cause, a purpose, a reason!
Isaiah 55:8,9; (Message)
‘I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.’
‘For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Receiving Christ is the beginning point for this very different life. This, (receiving Christ), births us into a new world, the Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Our actions, reactions and priorities all become completely opposite to our natural instincts. A new intuition is downloaded into our system, which seems ‘counter-intuitive’ to the way we have lived all our life before. We are different to the world around us. Not just different, sometimes exactly the reverse, like, 'You've been taught to hate your enemies, BUT I SAY, love your enemies….', Jesus.
No matter what culture we’re in, what government we're under, what circumstances surround us, our life works when we live by these 'ways of God'. These 'ways' resonate with anyone and everyone when they find them. They are truth. They are the ways of the One who created us!
However, without Christ these principles are impossible to live out. Yet with Him, His ways become 'natural' to us. We are born 'of God'. We see His Kingdom.
John 3:3 (NKJV) '…unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'
John 3:5 '… unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.'
Don’t think becoming a Christian is joining a church. Sorry, this doesn't make anybody a Christian. Parking a skateboard in a garage doesn't make it a car. Only Christ ‘in’ us makes us a child of God. We live a new life which identifies us as people 'in Christ'. There is a big difference between being in a Christian organization, and being in Christ. Sure, it would be good to see everyone in church, but far better, ‘in Christ’.
The boundaries of the Kingdom of God have nothing to do with geography, but rather attitudes. When I’m in forgiveness, I'm in Him, I'm in His Kingdom. I'm under the 'dom' of the King. I'm receiving all the benefits of being in Christ. But, when I cross the border from forgiveness into revenge, hatred and unforgiveness, I've stepped out of living in Christ and under His Lordship. To live in Christ is to live empowered for life. To be in Christ and to live in His ways, is to live in supernatural energy! This person is someone committed to living by disciplines which order their life into harmony with the principles of God. This person is a disciple of Christ, a learner, a student, a follower of the Son of God.
See you in church