“If our vision of faith does not include a lifetime of sacrifice and surrender, it is not an entry into the fullness of the Christian life.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – October 9, 2021
By your endurance you will gain your lives. Luke 21:19, ESV
Far too often, we focus on the beginning of our life with Christ, failing to consider how we are meant to live in the present, as well as the destination towards which we journey.
I grew up in a church culture that placed a high value on evangelism, sharing the good news of Jesus with a lost world. And while this is to be celebrated in so many ways, almost without exception, the invitation was phrased as “salvation from…” – saved from death and sin and alienation from God. What was lacking in this evangelistic vision was “salvation into” – saved into a new way of life, upheld by the grace of God and sustained by a disciplined and principled faith that trains converts in the way of holiness.
If our vision of faith does not include a lifetime of sacrifice and surrender, it is not an entry into the fullness of the Christian life.
In this way, baptism is both a starting line and a passage into a way of life. Belief in Christ is not isolated to a single prayer or isolated act. Important as these moments of transformation undoubtedly are, they are not designed to be a single meal that sustains you for a lifetime. Instead, they invite us to take a seat at the family dinner table, learning to love and receive through the daily practice of life-giving and sustaining rhythms.
As a friend is fond of saying, Jesus gives us our daily bread, not birthday cake! We must resist the urge to seek out a spiritual sugar high: emotive experiences of worship that are high in calories but low in nutrients. Do not become a spiritual thrill-seeker, jumping from one high to the next. It will not sustain you or equip you for a life of faithful endurance, and most dangerously, it will close you off from a life lived in daily service to others, which is the way of Christ and the heart of an enduring faith.
So today, give thanks to God for your conversion to the way of Christ and entry into his Kingdom, yet resolve afresh to allow this beginning to continue to grow into an enduring life of faithfulness and daily transformation.
Father, lead us in the way of truth, that we may at our end be made ready to enter into the place where you dwell, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Has your “salvation from” included “salvation into”, or are you putting too much weight on a singular moment of conversion and missing the importance of daily habits of grace-filled transformation?
Vineyard Worship feat. Marc James: Surrender
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