Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday

I will try to be brief today. I am "thunk" out. I sat in a CLE (continuing legal education for you non-lawyers) from 8:30am-5:45pm today and I will be there again all day tomorrow. Here is one of my favorite devotionals from this week.

Making the Christian Life a Reality
Micca Monda Campbell

“God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.”
I Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)

For a long time I was confused about the Christian life. After I trusted Christ to be my personal Savior, life didn’t change as I had hoped.

At first, I was filled with genuine joy and passion. I couldn’t get enough of God and His Word. I prayed a lot, attended church a lot, shared my faith a lot, and spent a lot of time reading my Bible. But somewhere along the way, I grew weary. My attempt to live the Christian life in my own strength quickly gave out. Why didn’t it last? I wondered.

I’m not alone in my struggles. Many believers I meet are just as confused as I was. Guilt ridden, some give up while others choose to just pretend. Then, there are those that still desire but question, “Is a changed life even possible? If so, why isn’t it a reality in my life?” It’s often why we came to Christ in the first place – for freedom, forgiveness, peace, and purpose. Yet, instead of living an empowered life, many of us are living an exhausting one.

I could sense there was something more, but I couldn’t put my finger on what was missing. Discouraged, I’d speculate…Could it be that God isn’t holding up His end of the agreement? Or, is it me? Maybe you’ve asked yourself the same questions.

It took a long while before I realized that the Christian life isn’t about following a bunch of rules. It’s not even about trying my best to be good. The Christian life is all about relationship. It’s about knowing and loving the God who already knows and loves us. It’s about being a friend of God. This changes everything.

Friendship requires commitment. The same is true in our companionship with the Lord. We often neglect vital portions of our relationship with Him. Sometimes that neglect is due to a lack of understanding in how to commune with Him. Other times it is sin or apathy in our lives causing us to overlook our need to fellowship with God.

In order to stay passionate about our faith, and live an empowered life free from sin, you and I must participate in our friendship with God by:

1.) Abiding in Christ. (John 15:4, NIV)
2.) Praying daily. (Mark 1:35, NIV)
3.) Meditating on God’s Word. (Joshua 1:8, NIV)
4.) Putting off the old and putting on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)
5.) Being continually filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18, NIV)
6.) Exercising God-given gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NIV)
7.) Actively sharing the gospel with others. (Mark 16:15, NIV)

Which of these areas are you lacking in? Could that be the key to jump-starting your empowered-by-the-Spirit life?

The Christian life is real, satisfying, and available to all who are willing to have an on-going daily relationship with the Lord. Once I came to understand my role and participate in the relationship, I found the empowered life I was looking for. I’m convinced you can too.

© 2008 by Micca Campbell. All rights reserved.

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