Muscular Christianity

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Life is made a day at a time day. We love the grand moments and celebrate the special days but the daily choices make us who we are and what counts most are those ordinary decisions about daily life. If I desire to be physically fit will a visit to the gym every Monday make it happen? No, it just doesn’t work that way.  If I want to be thought of as a kind, generous man can I just give to a charity once in a while? Certainly not.  To borrow Jesus’ words, it is the cup of water offered to the thirsty at each opportunity that makes the difference.

Christianity is a ‘daily’ way of life. If we hope to find and live the ‘abundant life’ that Jesus offers, we must do more than sit in a church on Sunday. The disciplines of the Spirit (Meditation, Prayer, Forgiveness, Simplicity, Shared worship, Purity, Study, Managing our resources) will be a part of today, tomorrow, and every day for the rest of our life.  If that sounds like a commitment, you are understanding the point. It is!  If that all sounds like a joyless exercise of duty, you need to adjust your vision to see farther down the road, to anticipate the reward of harvest that follows planting and cultivation.

Faith is not for the faint of heart. Paul explains that commitment this way to us. “Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.” (2 Timothy 2:3-7, NIV)

There is a mistaken idea that our faith life should only be comforting, that if it is hard then we must be doing something wrong.  Many believe that God exists just to provide us with ‘showers of blessings.’  He calls you and me to Himself, loves us through Christ, and makes us part of His ‘divine conspiracy’ to defeat evil and extend His influence in the world. There is an active resistance- both personal and systemic- that pushes back. We feel it in our own sinful nature. What happens when we have a wonderful experience of the Presence of God? Often the next day, we experience some of the worst inner conflict of desires.  We see it in the world. Good work that promotes the purposes of God is established and the forces of evil try to break it down!

How do we overcome this? We make a daily choice to walk with God, to do God’s will, to open our minds and hearts to the Holy Spirit, even as we trust in the grace of Jesus Christ to save and keep us. Key word there is DAILY.

So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. ” (Galatians 6:9-10, The Message)

Today, right where you are, choose for good, for God.  Love, serve, forgive, bless, trust patiently.  The word from the Word comes from Peter, a man of many failures, who got up each time to move ahead, and whose life made a difference.  So,  “Live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9, NIV)

____________

Giving All To You

What kind of love could this be that I’ve found
That could turn the life of a broken man around
Everything You touch oh so much is made new
Makes me want to dedicate my life to You 

I give You all my days
Help me to know Your ways
I have made up my mind
You can have all my heart soul
My hopes dreams my time

 What kind of love is this flooding my soul
That is changing how I feel and what I know
Where could I turn now I’ve learned Your love for me
There is nowhere else that I would rather be

 When giving all to You
The beauty is it’s never gone
It’s so much more than I’d have on my own (REPEAT)

 I give every morning to You
I want to live every moment for You\
Every morning
Every moment

Joey Nicholson © 2017 EveryShore Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

 

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