Thursday, April 2, 2015

Figuring It Out

Good Friday, April 3, 2015
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God.  I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do.  I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved.    1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (NLT)
The idea of trying to please everybody is common to me, but flies in the face of any kind of contemporary common sense.  It is often said that when you try to please everybody you end up pleasing nobody and offending everybody.
If you want proof of this, suggest at your next board meeting that you would like to start a new “contemporary service” because some folks don’t like the hymns, and you want to try to reach new people.  You’ll quickly find out Paul was pointing you down the pathway of thorns when he told you to figure out the way to live without offending.
Even Peter agreed that Paul’s thinking wasn’t an easy read:
Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture.  And this will result in their destruction. 
2 Peter 3:15-16 (NLT)
Being a disciple of Christ isn’t without its gray areas; who can know the mind of God in the deep things?  When does personal preference become racism, or stewardship become greed, or evangelism become fanaticism?  Where are the clear lines?
I believe those lines become clearer (as much as they can be clear in this life) in the heart of one who truly bows in submission to God daily.  That was one thing Paul also taught without a trace of ambiguity:
I die every day!  1 Corinthians 15:51a (NRSV)
Paul wasn’t talking physical life here; how could you cease to breathe every day?  No, he was talking about the life of his will – his personal comfort and preferences taking a back seat to the will of Christ. 
His commitment to worship God meant he lived as a voluntary slave of Jesus Christ.
If you want more clarity on living the kind of life where you see Christ-likeness growing in you…in which doing all for the glory of God becomes reality, then figuring it out will start each day with the humility of putting to death your own agenda, and letting God lead.
Apart from that, there is no way to truly follow Jesus Christ as a disciple-servant.
And isn’t that what you signed-on for?

For You Today

At whatever stage of life or Christian development you may be, there is one constant – we all must bow before Christ with surrender and receive his mercy and blessing.
Every day.
Make this day like that and you’ll figure out a lot of things that weren’t clear before.

[1] Title Image: By Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park, via Wikimedia Commons

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