Safe!

Does our chaotic world make you want to find a place to escape?  I wonder what inflation will do to my financial security. War in the Ukraine has boiled over to become an economic world war with unknown consequences ahead.  I admit to feeling anxious about all this. What’s your worry?  Perhaps you are dealing with ‘stuff’ closer to home – a son who cannot get life on track, a job that is a dead-end, some personal issue that resists your efforts at change. 

In our attempts to make sense of life, to find meaning,  one writer says too many Christians stir up a toxic mix:  “a little Jesus, a little consumer escapism, a little Hollywood, a little nationalism, a little legalism.”

A lot of people try to make life work by
-taking on some religion- Jesus on Sunday-
-stirred in with the hope that something shiny or new will bring happiness,
-mixed with some movie fantasies about how ‘life should be,’
-combined with voting the ‘right’ way,
-topped off by keeping some rules think hope will make them acceptable to God.

This tragically sums up the “Christianity” of too many people. But, deep inside there is no peace, no sense of purpose, no deep assurance of eternal life.  There is a better way!  Paul describes it for us. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.” (Colossians 3:1-4, NLT)  Re-read those lines.

True Christianity is about Jesus. It is not just a ‘lifestyle.’ It is more than a cultural form. It is Christ in us, our hope, for this world and for eternity. I love that phrase “your REAL life is hidden with Christ in God.”   We are safe, but not because of who we are, what we have done, or what we think we believe. Our security is a new identity that has been given to us, a gift of God’s grace, through Christ. We do not have to climb up or reach up to higher achievement.  By faith, we receive this gift, and we are safe in the arms of Jesus, to quote the old hymn.

We are often deceived by a natural way of thinking that insists ‘if I were a better Christian’ (translates to went to church more often, prayed more frequently, was kinder to my world, etc.) then I would feel safe, know more peace.  That is a misplaced focus on Self, an old religious way of thinking that puts the burden on me to try to appease God, Who is a cruel Judge.  

God is love; John tells us. His desire is our salvation and He moved from heaven to earth in Christ Jesus to bring us back into relationship with Himself.  Ask the Spirit to make that Truth a conviction of your mind and heart.  Ask Him for faith to accept that you are, even now, an eternal being whose ‘real life’ is held securely in God!   

Two things will inevitably happen to the person who receives the gift of that new identity:  they will find peace and they will become more godly.

There is no real ‘secret’ to the authentic Christian life. It is now made plain to those who will believe that Jesus came to bring life, hope, and peace with God. We don’t have to try to ‘believe enough’ or convince ourselves in a way that eliminates every question.  We choose to accept that Christ Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Earth, Savior and coming King.   Yes, this is the Christ-centered life!

The word from the Word is a powerful prayer – I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:16-19, NIV)  Can I get an Amen?

(Video of this blog at this link)

______________

No Longer Slaves
(Zac Williams recorded this amazing song in a prison!)

You unravel me with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my Mother’s womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again into Your family
Your blood flows through my veins

You split the sea so I could walk right through it
My fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me so I could stand and sing
I am a child of God

Brian Johnson | Joel Case | Jonathan David Helser

© 2014 Bethel Music Publishing

CCLI License # 810055

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