My last post was written out of my own experiences and thoughts (duh…I guess that went without writing, eh?), and I think, in hindsight, it might be misconstrued. This is an attempt to clarify what was written in the last one.
First of all, I do not believe, in any way, shape, or form, that we can earn our salvation. As my pastor says, “Grace plus anything else equals works.” I believe that. I do not think that anything I could possibly do in this life could add to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is, indeed, FINISHED, our salvation was bought by HIS blood, HIS righteousness, and not my own.
What I was trying to say was that maybe, just maybe, Christians in the West (and probably all over the world) settle for lives of “quiet mediocrity” (I read that somewhere, but I can’t remember who said it). I think we are very prone to the following type comments:
Christian #1 “I really want to serve God with all I have.”
Christian #2 “You can serve God best right where you are.”
Have you ever been told what #1 just got told? Have you ever been the one telling that? I’ve been on both sides of it, and I’m just not sure it’s right. I think it may be the biggest cop-out going.
Why? Because when Jesus called someone, their lives were NOT the same. Levi didn’t remain a tax collector. James and John “left their nets” to follow Jesus. The rich young ruler heard what the cost of discipleship was, and he went away sad, because the price was too high. When Jesus called, there wasn’t an option of status-quo.
Now some might say “But not everyone is called in the same way.” I agree. Not all are called in the same way. But some are. In fact, I would submit, more are called than accept that calling. I think more people are talked out of fully serving Christ than are talked into it. Think about it. How many times have you heard of someone leaving everything to go to, let’s say China, and serve in the mission field? Or how about the guy that refuses to be quiet about his faith, even when it makes…gasp! Christians uncomfortable?!!! We do hear of these type Christians, yet don’t we see them as a strange minority?
I guess what I’m really getting at is this: what if you have this feeling, deep in your gut, this desire to step out and really follow Christ. To go where He sends you. Yet the “practical” side of me says “Just be the best Christian you can be right where you are.” So what do I do with the gnawing in my gut? What do I do with this sense of calling? What do you do with it?
“If you are a Christian, you are not your own. Christ has bought you at the price of his own death. You now belong doubly to God: He made you, and he bought you. That means your life is not your own. It is God’s. Therefore, the Bible says, “Glorify God in your body.” God made you for this. He bought you for this. This is the meaning of your life.“
He goes on to say:
“There is a warning. The path of God-exalting joy will cost you your life. Jesus said, “Whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” In other words, it is better to lose your life than to waste it. If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will
be full. This is not a book about how to avoid a wounded life, but how to avoid a wastedlife. Some of you will die in the service of Christ. That will not be a tragedy. Treasuring life above
Christ is a tragedy.”
If my life is not my own, why do I live as though it is?