A Living Sacrifice
Our lives can be seen as both a signpost of the presence of God in the world and a doorway to gifting the world with our faith. The Christian life is not just about what we get from and through it, but what we can do, offer, and extend because of the power we receive from Jesus. As we remember who Jesus is, what Jesus did in his life, death and resurrection what Jesus continues to do, we renew our commitment to follow Jesus, to be followers of the way. The Christian life is lived in community. When we gather to worship and serve, we capture the presence of Christ among us and are able to step forward in faith helping our needy brothers and sisters.
God gift us to the world to bring about His purposes in the world, which full restoration and reconciliation of all to the Kingdom. God purchased us for a price and a reason. We were saved to be a living sacrifice, presence, and present to the world. As Paul writes in Ephesians 2: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” The doing comes after we have been saved; after we have been redeemed, we do good. God’s own goodness is first and the good we do is a mere response to what God has done and is doing. It’s an outward sign of an inner movement.
Faith in Christ is as much if not more about living a life of compassion and joy as saying the right words, believing the right things, or attending the perfect church. None of us is as we should be and we never will be the good news that attacks us is God loves in spite of all our messed ways. God’s love enables us to live the life that we ought to live, but without God, this is not possible. Without God, we are lost at sea; with God, we have purpose and strength to live lives of compassion and joy. With God, we begin living towards the love and grace that has been lavished on us already. For restoration and reconciliation begins in our hearts and radiates outward into all of creation.
Worship and Service are signs of God, the very embodiment of love expressing Himself through us. We are given many occasions to worship and serve to experience love and joy. Worship is not just what we do Sunday morning, but what we do with our lives, time, and money. We need to help our needy brothers and sisters to find the love, joy, and hope we ourselves crave. We can offer our time, energy or money in worship to others. In any situation, especially in crisis we are to respond in and with love, to be Jesus to the world. Bad things will happen the key is to love in spite of it all. Hate and despair are realities, our role is to offer love, joy, and hope to a world that desperately needs it. We can extend love instead of hate, hope instead of despair, and joy instead of sadness. We can always do something to show the love and grace that has been lavished on us. Mother Teresa said that we should find one person who feels they are alone and show them that they are not, that they are loved, loved by us and God.
Jesus does not want us to hide our faith or what God is doing in and through us. Jesus wants us to let our light shine and to remain salty so that the whole world, that everyone will see God through us and will come running to see that God is good. We are to beacons of God’s light, love, joy, and hope for a world going mad. When Jesus says, “Do this in remembrance of me,” Jesus is telling us to live in remembrance of him as much as he is saying break the bread, drink the wine. Jesus was very serious when he said, “Go and do likewise.” Go spread the message of a God who went to the extreme for love and will not stop until the whole world and everyone and everything in it is restored and reconciled to the Kingdom.
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