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Saturday, February 27, 2010

What Is the Christian Life?

Did Jesus come so that we would go to church for the rest of our lives? Did He die on the cross so that we would wait until our own deaths to be with Him? Should the Christian life be boring?

Not a chance!

Jesus came to give us life here and now. He didn't sacrifice Himself just so that our own lives would be longer or that we would go to church. He came to give us life and that life has the characteristics of all life.

Life has a metabolism. It takes in oxygen to burn fuel. It changes the fuel into usable energy for the body. It eliminates that which it cannot use. The Christian life is no different. We live in the world but we are not of the world. The world may take in many of the things around us but we do not have to become a part of all of those things. We eliminate the bad and use the good. We breathe in with our prayers and exhale out the exhaust of our energy. We have a metabolism as Christians. We get spiritually sick when that metabolism isn't working right. The lack of prayer will choke us to death. The lack of the elimination of the bad will poison us.

Life has growth. We are born and grow fairly rapidly. New cells are formed. New muscle and bones make us stronger and taller. We really have little to do except eat and exercise so that growth can be expected. The Christian takes in the Word of God. The Bible calls it milk in one place and meat in another. It is our food that gives us growth. Our growth stops when we stop taking in this Word. Our growth will be stunted. Many Christians stand on boxes to look taller when they haven't grown in their spiritual life. Our growth, however, isn't to get taller but to look more like Jesus.

Life has movement. Even plants move. I love watching time lapse photography which shows flowers blooming in a matter of seconds. It is so easy to see how these plants move. Often plants turn toward sunlight in their movement. The Christian has to move. God has given each of us spiritual gifts so that we can do His will. Our action in those gifts is the movement we need to prove we are alive. The exercise of these gifts is exciting. We see a union of God and us working together. We participate and we see more than we could ever have done without Him. Of course, the lack of movement results in atrophy. Many non-moving Christians give the example of being called the "frozen chosen."

Life has reproduction. Reproduction is wired into life. It is natural for all living things to want to reproduce. It is natural that Christians want that too. God called us to share our faith so that others will become Christians. He did not call us to adopt. He did not expect us to call on our preachers or Sunday School teachers to reproduce for us. He expects us to have our own. There is nothing quite like producing a physical baby. The whole process is a miracle. The birth of our own children captures us. The birth of spiritual children is no different. It takes a lot of miracle and a little of us to see people come to know Christ.

Life has adaptation. Plants and animals adapt to the environment they are in. They respond by going where water is. They migrate, get planted in favorable places and further adapt by growing longer coats in the winter or even sleeping through those cold months. Christians have to adapt to truly have life. Each and every one of us is different. We are all God's children but He treats each of us differently. We respond to our environments differently. We are special in our adaptation. It makes us unique. 

The Christian life has the characteristics of the physical life. You are either metabolizing, growing, moving, reproducing and adapting or you are dying. In fact, some people may think you are already dead. 

Life is exciting. 

1 John 5:12 (NASB)

He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Nicely stated. A lot of your passages reminded me of the Gospel of John.
God Bless and I'll see you tommorrow!