My husband and I were listening to a church’s podcast we’ve recently discovered.
In fact, I’ll let you in on a little secret. One of our new favorite ways to wind down in the evening is to put on a podcast and do jigsaw puzzles online together.
Yes, I know. It sounds super geeky. :I What can I say – I enjoy it. And with an 11-month old, it’s a bit more realistic than trying to do a real puzzle and keep it out of her little grabby hands. 🙂
Anyways, so now that my guilty pleasure is out, I’ll continue…
Last night we listened to a message entitled “What we are and what we are not.” Without going into too much detail, it touched on how we, as believers, can still see ourselves as ‘sinners.’ At first, that sounds correct, right? He goes on to say how it’s not true anymore – not insinuating that we don’t still sin. But that we’re no longer categorized by our sin. We’re now a part of the family of God, we’re now what Paul, and some of the other disciples that were powerfully chosen to pen the Word of God, called “saints.” And that should be our new identity.
It seems like a small thing, but that subtle difference really does lead us to two very different results. One that identifies with the new life I’ve received through Christ, and strives to live in that victory, and another that still claims the old ways, and lives under defeat.
The message goes on to talk about what he refers to as “cool Christians.” These are people that live on the edge and justify the gray areas in their lives as their ‘freedom in grace’ and their ‘right’ as believers.
He was personally not a big fan of this concept, and I felt like his take on it related to the internal conflict I’ve been having regarding this issue for quite some time.
It reminded me of another quote from “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, where she says,
“God does not give rights but imparts responsibilities-“
I felt that this hit on what I’ve been struggling with. We as believers are under grace (and praise the Lord for that!) and we don’t have to try to achieve the perfect standard that only Christ can be for us, our Righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30-31). However, that grace does not afford us rights, but rather a hefty responsibility to now live lives that are clear messages of the gospel we’ve received.
I have to repeat that because that was a huge revelation for me last night.
I have been called to live a life that is a clear message of the gospel that I’ve received.
And I guess to put my stake down finally and make a stance, I don’t believe that if my life resembles what it was before I was following Christ- by the shows I watch, the words I speak, the clothes I wear – that my life is sending a clear message at all.
How will people ever find life and light if I continue on in darkness?
And I’m not talking about self-imposed new standards of what I think a Christian should look and act like. That’s legalism and trading old bondage for new chains.
I’m talking about the process of giving up my old way of living and putting on Christ (Ephesians 4:22-31).
Maybe all I do know is that when people look at me, I don’t want them to question where I stand.
As Joshua said, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I want that to be evident in the way I live my life – the words I speak, the shows I watch, the way I treat my family and others. And to me, that is a HUGE responsibility, one that I’m thankful God offers the grace to pursue, a way that leads to life.
Because if I say that the the Word of God is true and all that it claims, then what else makes sense?
“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:9-13