“I marvel that ye are so soon removed FROM HIM that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel. … But when it please God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. TO REVEAL HIS SON IN ME, that I might preach him among the heathen …” (Galatians 1:6, 15).
“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ… THAT I MAY KNOW HIM, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:7-8, 10).
This is the third of four, possibly five, posts dealing with the importance of knowing and revealing Christ in and through our lives.
As we mentioned in our last post, the Christian life was never meant to be about men, ministries, methods, missions, or movements. But when you think about it, that’s exactly what we tend to emphasize. Are these not the things we even fight over and fight about?
The Christian life was, is, and always will be about Christ, and Christ alone. Everything and everyone else is secondary at best!
As we also mentioned in our previous article, like the church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-4), if we are not careful, we can BELIEVE THE RIGHT THINGS, we can even DO THE RIGHT THINGS, and, believe it or not, we can even STAND FOR THE RIGHT THINGS, and yet, still be guilty of having left our first love.
Our love for Christ!
Every once in a while we need to ask ourselves, “Is my Christian experience simply a set of beliefs to which I adhere and a lifestyle to which I conform, or is it a dynamic relationship with the living God. A life in which I walk with the Spirit and move in his power?”
Well, is it?
When you think about it, as one author noted, “Jesus birthed the Christian ‘movement’ by sending his Spirit like a mighty, rushing wind into his disciples. The place where they met shook with God’s power, and as a result they turned the world upside down. The first church was not primarily a study group, a self-discovery seminar, or a building program. It was a mighty movement of the Spirit that propelled Jesus’ followers into the whole world, preaching the gospel. Acts is the story of disciples following that Spirit, being filled by that Spirit — trying to keep up, but feeling like a kite in a hurricane. Does that metaphor characterize your church? Does it characterize you?”
Well, does it?
- The early church was led by men who weren’t concerned with pleasing one another. They were concerned about pleasing God.
- The early church was led by men who were not nearly as concerned with a “visible example” as they were with an invisible Christ.
- The early church was led by men who, while they were consumed with a cause–the cause of Christ known as the Great Commission–the were more consumed with the Christ of the cause.
- The early church was led by men who hadn’t simply memorized the Great Commandment, but allowed it to be their guiding principle for life and ministry. The loved God with all that they were, and with all that they had, and they loved others, including their enemies, as themselves.
- The early church was led by men who were like you and me, they were sinners saved by grace, but they were saved sinners who loved the God of grace passionately and lived in pursuit of His presence and power in their lives and ministry.
God is looking for such men and women today!!!
As one author noted, “This is not to say that the Christian life is a series of spine-tingling experiences, inner voices, or burning bushes, and that there are not times when we must walk through dark, silent valleys by faith alone.” But it is to say that the Christian life is all about knowing, loving, and embracing Jesus. Loving Him passionately that is!
The question is: DO WE?
As we have said in previous posts there is a great danger of drifting from Christ. The Galatians were not simply drifting from the grace of God; they were drifting from the God of grace.
Like the church of Ephesus, they had LEFT (not lost), their first love [REV 2:1-5]!
Like God’s Old Testament people, they had forsaken God as the source of life, joy and fulfillment and had replaced him with someone or something else [JER 2:13]
We are so busy with so many things. To a busy lady, Jesus once said, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful (anxious) and troubled about many things: but ONE THING IS NEEDFUL: and Mary hath chosen that good part … ” (Luke 10: 41-42). Paul echoed that same idea in Philippians when he said, “But this ONE THING I DO: forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before” (Phil. 3: 13– 14).
God is still looking for some ONE THING Christians today!
“One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. … When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek” (Psalm 27:4, 8).
A.W. Tozer once said, “I want the presence of God Himself, or I don’t want anything at all to do with religion… I want all that God has or I don’t want any.”
Could we say this?
Just reflecting on Jesus!!!