Saturday, January 03, 2015

Get Busy Living

Welcome to the New Year!

As I was reflecting on this new year earlier this morning, I realized something a little bit frightening: The beginning of a new year signifies that we have less time than we started with to start living the life we wanted to live.

In other words, with another year behind us, we have less time ahead of us to allow Jesus to live and breathe in us the way He deserves to - and the way we want Him to.

I couldn't help but remember these words: "If you stopped learning today you wouldn't live long enough to put into practice all that you already know."

And it's true. The time for learning new information about Jesus is - for most of us - long over. And the time for putting into practice what we already know that Jesus commanded us to do is now at hand.

But most of us would rather continue to be Biblicists; reading and learning and studying and then re-learning and re-studying, and taking notes until Jesus comes back.

But Jesus isn't coming back for people who know stuff about Him. It's why He said: "Why do you call me 'Lord, lord' and do not do what I command?" [Luke 6:46]

It's why He also said: "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." [John 13:17]

Because what Jesus wants us to understand is that having the information about the Gospel is worthless if you do not obey the Gospel.

In other words, it's not how much information about Jesus we have. It's what we do with that information once we have it.

The great Christian philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard put it this way:

"The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand, we are obliged to act accordingly."

He's right, you know. Just the other day I read a comment from someone who claimed to be a Christian, yet attempted to suggest that the words of Jesus were just too difficult for anyone to understand easily. This person wasn't saying that we should all keep on studying and learning so we could eventually understand Jesus. Not at all. He was saying this to justify NOT knowing what Jesus meant and therefore seeking to escape those commands that seemed too hard for him.

Ultimately, it's not about what you or I do, anyway. The point is not to "live a life for Jesus". That's honestly impossible. 

What Jesus wants us to do is to stop trying to live for Him and start allowing Him to live in us.

Until Jesus is alive in you - living and breathing within - you are not alive anyway. Remember: "Apart from me you can do nothing" [John 15:5]

So, as we stand at the beginning of a brand new year, let's not ask ourselves "What can I do for God?" but let's ask, "What could God do with someone who was totally and completely surrendered to Him?"

That's the Gospel of the Kingdom. One life, totally surrendered to His rule and reign.

Can we take that step? Can we begin, right now, to let Jesus have His way with us? Can we lay down our lives and let Him live in us by His Spirit?

Honestly, that's what Jesus came and died for - all of you! Not just a little piece of you, but every single part - even (and even especially) that part of yourself that you are most afraid of surrendering to Him.

He is trustworthy. He won't mess up your life. Instead, He will give you real, abundant life, starting the moment you let go of this dead, empty shell we call "life".

"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” [Matt. 16:25-26]

Make the most of the days you have left. Let go of your life and surrender it fully to Jesus. There's no better time than now to start.



A. J. MacDonald, Jr said...

Well said brother. Good advice for the New Year.

the alternative1 said...

WOW!that is the best new years message I have ever read--it reminds me of the way the translation called the MESSAGE puts it--schools out;quit studying the subject and start living it!