November 26, Observation 2

Text: Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."  (NASB)

Sustaining the Christian movement anywhere depends on teaching Christians how to base life on the principles of the resurrected Jesus.  Correct conversion is not enough if there is no living in and for Jesus.  A sustained lifestyle in Jesus is essential for others’ conversion to Christ—both from the teacher and other Christians.  Christianity is not sustained by an authoritative conversion alone but also by a loving, believing commitment to a Savior.  Without that life-changing devotion, we export our problems, not God’s Savior.

It is disheartening to return to a congregation to discover it disappeared before a second generation physically grew enough to be Christians.  Such happens easily if spouses continue committing adultery, if parents neglect children, if friends exploit friends, if workers steal from employers, if thieves continue to steal, if liars continue to lie, if gossips continue to gossip, if the greedy continue to be greedy, etc.

However, if people in Christ oppose personal problems and bless others by doing so, others look for the “why.”  Faith is shared because life is changed—not because a church building was built.  Christianity is sustained because being in Christ produces a life of hope in an evil world.

Will financially security exist?  Will hardship vanish?  Will sickness disappear?  Will physical death be impossible?  Will everything be simple and uncomplicated?  Will the Christian “have all the answers?”

NO!  The Christian understands God is preparing a place where no evil, no trouble, no sickness, and no death exists.  Christians look at life differently.  God will give them a place to “belong” where only righteousness exists, and where God is not ashamed of anyone.  A new existence as God intended from the beginning will be God’s gift to people who have the courage to be formed again in Christ.

Suggestion for reflection: Where do you “belong” or “fit?”  (Read Revelation 21:1-8.)

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 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell