Galatians 2:20 (NIV) 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
THE STORY, by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee…a chronological reading of the Bible that truly keeps you reading! Of course, reading God’s Word allows the Holy Spirit to do His work in your life, which then brings joyful (sometimes convicting) understanding and eyes that continually open…resulting in a true and continuous heart change!
So thankful my big brother mentioned this book (Bible) to me!
The authors write about Roman crucifixion; “The victim’s groaning became a morning’s entertainment for onlookers. Seeing the horrors of crucifixion was an effective deterrent for wrong-doers. For Jesus, this heinous death was undeserved. As he gave his life, he looked beyond it to God’s bigger story of salvation that was being played out through his life and death.”
Oh the “other truth” that came like a laser searing my heart. Think with me, here. Isn’t that what God has called us to do?
He has truly called us to live our lives with His sacrificial love. In other words, He has actually called us to give our lives to love in a way that can only come from Jesus. Not an out-of-balance superficial way, because He wasn’t (isn’t) superficial. But in a balanced way that can only come from Him. His way is not a way that excuses sin with all of today’s catch phrases and lackadaisical approach toward it.
We are not to be tolerant or easy on sin. We aren’t meant to make those in our sphere comfortable with actions or a lifestyle that breaks the heart of God and eventually leaves them empty and wondering, “Is that all there is?”
True, we aren’t supposed to hate the sinner or get up in his/her face in ways that lack love. But how often we forget to speak the truth in love…because we are afraid and because we aren’t truly walking closely to our God moment by moment. We are to speak out…we are to hate the sin, just as we hate cancer and what it does to the people who have it.
Sin is loving something more than God and His ways. It is a cancer that kills the hearts and lives of the sinner and…breaks the hearts of those who love them and stand helplessly by!
Oh God…may we be brave about walking out our faith through love…may we boldly speak the truth in love. May we be faithful to pray. May we always remember that prayer is truly participating in the battle for the hearts and lives of those we love who simply cannot see to fight. May we…
Look beyond the pain that bravery may cause us, to God’s bigger story of salvation that is intended to be brought about through our own lives. Let’s pray for death to timidity, self-protection and fear. Ask God to give you a true distaste for time spent on the things that take you away from essential time with God. Remember, anything more important to us than developing our relationship with Him is…idolatry. Any idolatry will separate us from that brave life…that crucified life.
That life is…the life that brings us purpose and joy. The one that makes a difference now and for generations to come!