Friday, April 11, 2014

Choose Right, Live Right Part 2

“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” When Jim Eliott made this statement, he may have been applying Mark 8:36-38, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels." With these questions, Jesus challenges us to think about our real focus in life. We believe we will live with Jesus Christ in eternity. How is this fact lived out in our daily lives? Are we living in anticipation of his commendation when he comes again in glory? Are we focused on the temporal things of this world? Our daily focus determines how we live.
People without Christ have nothing better to live for. So their lives are portrayed by chasing after earthly things – eating, drinking and material possessions. The more they have, the more successful they think they are. There is nothing wrong with eating, drinking and material possessions. However, that should not be the main goal of our lives. We should live for what is eternal and not what is temporary.
That means refocusing whatever we do to reflect Christ’s Kingdom in our daily lives. If we are businessmen, we apply Christian principles in the conduct of our business. As workers, we work keeping in mind that Christ is our true boss. In the home, we inculcate Kingdom values in our children. We train them to have values and concerns and priorities and relationships as citizens of God’s kingdom. I am sure every parent is concerned that their children have a good education and future. That is not a bad thing but that is also not the only thing in life. Our children should also learn to put Christ first. It is good to celebrate good grades, goals and the achievements of our children at home. But parents should also celebrate the fruit of godliness, humility, purity, stewardship and self-sacrifice in their children.
In the use of our mind too, we should be kingdom-focused. We may need to think intentionally about making needed changes to reflect our kingdom focus. What can we do to be a better steward of our leisure and entertainment? That means intentionally checking how much time we spend on TV, games, net surfing, etc. We compare that with the daily time we spend reading the Bible, prayer and Christian fellowship. If the gap is wide, we need to cut down on our entertainment and use the time for our spiritual pursuits. After all, which one has temporal and which one has eternal value?
In choosing Jesus over the things of this world, we are not exchanging one form of slavery over another. The cross of faith is light compared to the yoke of sin we once bore. This is because the resurrection power of Jesus empowers us to bear it. That is why we can align ourselves with God’s Will. The Holy Spirit empowers us to do so, as we walk in faith. We put into practice the right focus in life. We will take up our cross, i.e. our Christian responsibilities, and see them for what they really are - the source of freedom in Christ. When we take on the burden of charity, we are freed from the weight of greed. When we take on the burden of humility, we are freed from the weight of arrogance. When we take on the burden of mercy, we are freed from the weight of anger and guilt. In Him, we find the power to live right.

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