Wednesday, March 26, 2014

He Will Change Your Life

  Life of Christ 51

          'Want some mustard? It will change your life!'
          Every young person, at some point, does something that causes him in maturity to look back in horror at his younger self and say, 'What in the world were you thinking?' For me, one of those moments occurred at a summer camp I attended in ninth grade. For some reason, perhaps lack of sleep, perhaps emotional overload, perhaps just pure silliness, during a hotdog roast, I ran around the entire camp for an hour repeatedly offering people mustard. By the end my t-shirt was covered in yellow, and I had been given the look that silently told me to grow up approximately one hundred thousand times.
          But what I like about that was apparently I had been hearing a lot about something changing my life, and that is wonderful. It is wonderful because it was a Christian camp that was seeking to grow boys and girls closer to Jesus, and that is exactly what Jesus does – He changes your life.
          Jesus is a revolutionary, and when you let a revolutionary into your  world your whole life changes. When you get saved Jesus doesn't want you just to reform your old life; He is seeking to build in you a completely brand new life, one that reflects Himself. Paul said it this way in Colossians 3:

5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8  But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9  Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

          As you put on 'the new man' you will notice that it is completely different than 'the old man.' Forgive the poor illustration here, but it reminds me of a divorce and remarriage. When a woman ships out the old man she wants a completely different man to take his place, not just one who is slightly improved. When Jesus the revolutionary comes into your life you will find that you don't like what you used to like, you don't go where you used to go, you don't enjoy what you used to enjoy, you don't spend your money on what you used to spend money on, and you don't look how you used to look. Everybody you knew before you were saved will begin to look at you strangely, and they will push back against these changes. Before Jesus, you were a dead fish floating with the current. Now you are a salmon swimming upstream. The world is going in one direction, but your course correction is not just slightly tweaked – it is a brand new direction, and now headed completely opposite the lost world around you.
          To me, this is one of the saddest things about the wider contemporary American church model. Their approach, speaking broadly, is to attract and hold people by being as much like the world as possible. They are sincerely seeking to draw people to Jesus, but that Jesus was a revolutionary. He isn't in the business of adding a dash of Himself to people's lives and letting them continue on their merry way. He changes absolutely everything.
          A few months ago, over coffee, I talked to a man whose life was falling apart. I told him that if he sincerely came to Christ and sought to follow Him that he wouldn't recognize his own life twelve months later. He did come to Christ and for several months now he has been following Christ. If he continues, as I told him, he will find his life will be completely different. Why? Because Jesus is a revolutionary.

If you would like to listen to the audio version of this blog you can find it here on our church website. Just press 'launch media player' and choose We Preach Christ 24, 'A Revolutionary Not a Reformer'.

No comments:

Post a Comment