Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who are you living for?

Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

If you turn on the television and spend five minutes watching a show or commercials, you will notice one general theme: we are expected to cater to ourselves. Society thrives on humanism. Commercials solicit our wants and desires. Situation comedies revolve around a character's pursuit of career, love, or money. Even Christian authors are writing books on how to "Become a Better You" and "Live in Abundance." However, the central message of the cross is anti-humanism. It is a call to deny yourself and to be crucified with Christ.

In Galatians 2:20, Paul writes that we have been crucified with Christ. He uses the perfect tense, indicating that, though the event was completed in the past, it has a lasting effect. As believers, we share in both Christ's death and resurrection. The life we now live is not a result of anything that we have done on our own, but rather it is a result of the workings of Christ. Since we are now united with Christ, there is no more "I" in the sense that we are an individualistic, self-centered person. Christ's selfless sacrifice united us to him and calls us to do the same: to die to our selfish nature and live in fellowship with him. Therefore, we should no longer live according to our own desires, but we should allow Christ to live in and through us. We should do this because he was faithful in showing his love for us through his sacrifice. As a result, we ought to do the same.

Instead of focusing on ourselves, and what feeds our selfish desires, we should instead, focus on how we might serve the kingdom of God. Will this build our wealth, popularity, or status? Probably not. But it will build our character and obedience. If we do not of focus on how we might increase our own status, but place our minds on how we might display God's glory, we will show the world that we are different.

Tomorrow, we will look more in depth as to what this principle looks like practically. For today, I pose the question: who are you living for and who does the world see when they look at you?

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