In the message “Never Conform” we considered our call to not be squeezed into the mold of the world; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2). Answering this call begins by honestly examining the question of what it means to follow Christ.
Jesus came to this world in the womb of Mary, grew among us, taught for about three years, was crucified and then rose on the third day. During His years of teaching, Jesus focused most of His time on a small group of men who would be tasked with taking the Christian message into the world. The words He spoke would form the foundation for what it meant to be a Christian and live the Christian life.
As we consider the words of Jesus we need to remember He was speaking before the event of the cross and before the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. These events would officially begin the time of Christianity and the formation of the Church, but His words are still very instructive of what it means to follow Him.
“For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
Jesus can never be accused of teaching a type of soft or passive Christianity; “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters – yes, even his own life – he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26). Of course, Jesus was not speaking about actual hate for your relatives but the degree of love required to follow Him.
Becoming a Christian is by faith alone; “whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16), but living the Christian life always has faith-filled actions! No where in the Bible is there ever an indication that we are to believe and then tuck our belief away until we are called Home. Our faith should be something which changes us to the very core of our being. As we allow Christ to live through us and take our self with all its confused desires and goals out of His way, our life will not look the same as the world.
There are many good churches around the world. But there are also many that have lost their focus on what it means to truly follow Christ. We design our gatherings to get people in the door but then send them home without the basic message of change. The result is that many of our churches look just like a type of worldly club. Jesus came and died for the forgiveness of sin so we could live eternally through faith. But He also came with a message of a transformed life to be lived today; a life where He lives in and through us; a life of radical faith.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries