Life in Christ; April 25, 2019

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

This is a justly famous verse, so much so that I have heard American Christians use expressions like “220 power” to refer to it. However, even most of the people who quote it don’t really live it out. We hang onto “the life I live in the body” with fierce tenacity, prioritizing the flesh over the spiritual and essentially despising the grace and blessings of God. It’s not that we do it intentionally, it’s that we get distracted and deceived by the devil and the world. We generally don’t need much encouragement to go that direction! Our pilgrimage (a very appropriate word, actually) on this earth is a process of learning more and more to “fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,” (2 Corinthians 4:18) so that we may truly “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6:33) That is what it is to abide in Christ, and let His words abide in us. (John 15:7) That is power indeed!

All of these Scriptures come easily to my mind, for which I am grateful, but that in itself is no guarantee that I’m living them out. My own pilgrimage has been one of allowing the Word to go from my head to my heart, and from there to my hands and feet, and not just to my mouth. I can talk the Christian life until your ears fall off, but that’s not the same thing as my living it out. I’m reminded of the very true saying: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” When I speak the truth in love, the love needs to be the dominant element, preparing the way for the truth to penetrate. That happens only as I am aware of God’s love for me and how hopeless I am without it, so that I will allow that love to flow through me to the other person. As soon as I focus on myself, that gets distorted. I’m just a cracked clay pot, (2 Corinthians 4:7) and I must never forget it! I should be overwhelmed that God would choose to use even such as I am to do His work for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the texts that came in in the middle of it, allowing me to express your love to someone who feels very isolated and alone. I indeed pray that they would discover the joy of taking their eyes off of themselves and fixing them on Jesus, allowing You to fill them with Your presence and use them for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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