THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAN LIVING
Friday, June 30, 2017
  Job 17-19 | Acts 10:1-23

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil His good purpose.” —Philippians 2:13

We know how easily a bar of soap will slip from our grasp while in the bath. We no sooner get a hold of it and it slips away again. For many of us, Christian living seems like a slippery bar of soap.

When we first come to Christ, we know the thrill of Jesus being alive and relevant. There is excitement in learning new truths about His purpose for us. We experience the wonderful exhilaration of a fresh awareness of God, but no sooner does the Christian life seem within our grasp than it slips away. Unable to maintain the momentum we felt when first coming to Christ, we face frustration and an underlying fear that nothing will change.

When Christ moves into our hearts, there is a new love for God and a new desire to please Him. We have a new attitude toward people and life in general. We have not lost this, but with the shift in our attitudes and desire to live for God comes an awareness of how far short the reality of our lives falls below the ideals we long to hold in our grasp. Joy and enthusiasm quickly turn to frustration. Well-meaning family, friends and pastors may challenge us to a greater dedication to Christ. With sincere intent, we rededicate our lives to Christ only to find ourselves rededicating our rededications. It is always with a vision of truly moving forward this time, but like that elusive soap in the bath, we think we have a hold of it, but it never lasts.

Are biblical standards simply to inspire and motivate, or can they really be attainable and lived out in our lives? What many fail to realize is that the indwelling Spirit of Christ is the active participant we are to draw upon. Rather than bringing Jesus into our everyday living, we treat Him like a silent partner, which relegates Him to merely being the patron of our faith. Only Christ can be Christ-like, therefore it stands to reason the only way to live the Christian life is by dependence on His Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ in us and through us.

The Christian life is not about us living down here and Jesus up there, encouraging us to try harder. Christ is Himself the indispensable ingredient to the Christian life. He is not only involved in placing new desires and ambitions for godliness into our lives, but He is equally involved in fulfilling them. When we get a hold of this and appropriate it into our lives, we have then grasped the essence of Christian living.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, only You can live the Christian life. Instead of striving harder, help me to depend on You, so that I may live a life pleasing to You. Thank You, Lord.


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