Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Blessing

If you have ever attended our Wednesday night Bible study, you know that we often talk about the responsibility of the being a follower of Christ but we rarely talk about the blessing.  It is not that I don't believe in the blessing, or that I don't value it.  I believe with all my heart that God desires great things for our lives.  I believe with all my heart that He has good plans for those who love Him.  The Bible tells me so.  See Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28.

Part of the reason that I focus on the responsibility more than the blessing is pretty simple -- I think that most of the time we need to focus on the responsibility more than the blessing.  For most of us -- me included -- I just think it is easier to expect good things from God than it is to examine our hearts and the state of our obedience to Him. 

The Word tells us  that we are to live for Him and not for ourselves.  ("15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."  2 Corinthians 5:15.)  In other words, we are to be living sacrifices.  ("12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.")  But, this is an incredibly difficult idea to understand, much less to try to live out.  

To put it another way, I focus on responsibility because learning to be a living sacrifice -- to live for Him instead of ourselves -- is the essence of the Christian walk.  It is the lifelong journey that we sometimes call "sanctification."

Another reason that I focus on responsibility more than the blessing, is that I think the blessing follows from obedience.  That is, accepting the responsibility of the Christian life results in the incredible blessing that only God can provide.

And, one of the cool things is that the greatest blessing God has for us comes at the very beginning of our walk.  It happens when we put our trust in Jesus, when we repent of our sins and when we ask Him to be the Lord of our lives.   It is the blessing of the Cross.  It is the blessing of salvation.

And, interestingly, I think it is the blessing of the Cross that gives us the will to allow the Holy Spirit to direct our lives.  It is contemplating God's incredible sacrifice on the Cross that I think leads us to the point where we can truly live for the one who died for us.  Somehow, the reality of the Cross allows us to stop worrying so much about the petty things in this world and to approach life with an eternal perspective.

In this time, as we head toward Good Friday and Easter, I urge you to meditate on the blessing of the Cross.  How awesome that the creator of the universe would die for people like you and like me.  How awesome that one day we will be able to stand in the presence of the glory of the great I Am forever. 

The Great I Am

No comments:

Blog Archive