In some ways, we relegate the Christian life to a moment of conversion. A common temptation that follows our turning from our own lordship and placing ourselves under God’s authority, is that we shape our understanding of Christianity through our own lenses. We too easily become a consumer of the Christian life and shape it by our own terms. We look for a church that meets our needs and attend as regularly as possible, but if that church stops meeting our needs or offends us, we go and find another one. Ask yourself, since when did the church become all about us?
Following Jesus is a choice that requires us to lay down our lives and pursue Him daily but not out of a loveless obedience. We follow Him from the place of full confidence that we are so loved, our lives were worth dying for. As a result, we are saved and reconciled back to our created purpose, and then we willingly lay down our lives for others. When the good news of the gospel becomes a genuine reality for us we stop faking it through religious obligation and begin to lovingly and passionately follow Jesus anywhere, anytime—no matter the cost. Friends, just imagine stepping into this adventure or unknown and discovery without any fear!
My own conversion had me literally blindsided by God’s pure, extravagant, overwhelming love in the most beautiful way. Growing up with parents who were imperfect and flawed but deeply loving reflected something of the heart of God, so when I encountered His heart so clearly for the first time, I clung to it with desperate passion. My experience was radical, real, and raw. I had no desire to go back to my old life after experiencing that kind of love and acceptance. That moment of surrender on a summer evening so many years ago is as real today as it was then.
Recall the time you first encountered and experienced the love of Christ. How did that experience shape you? Faking it isn’t usually intentional, nor is losing the joy of your salvation, but maybe that’s where you find yourself as you read these words. If you’re in that place, take some time in prayer to simply ask the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit how the joy of your salvation can be restored in your life.
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