Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Persecuted for a Purpose Pt. 2

Christ was persecuted for a purpose! While I do not wish to take away from the encouragement and hope that Christ’s sacrifice is meant to provide us; as explained in yesterday's post, I do worry that in our day to day living we sometimes lose sight of the fullness of that purpose and the value of His sacrifice. At times, some appear to live as Christian Atheists. Craig Groeschel's newly released book of the same name defines a Christian Atheist as someone who "believes in God but lives as if He doesn't exist"

Jesus was persecuted for a purpose. He did not die for who we are – but for who God created us to be – Lovers of God and those who love others. He died so that all His plans for us – those dreams He placed in our heart, all He desired to do in and through us could be fulfilled.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~Ephesians 2:8-10.

Jesus died for us, to make all things new again and all that He asks is that we would remember Him, believe in Him, and that His legacy would live on through us. Do we continue to promote the legacy Christ's death initiated – a legacy of love? The sacrificial death of Christ gave us all tangible evidence, a reason to believe that God love’s us. Are we following the example Christ left us. Are we giving others a reason to believe that we love them, are we giving them a reason to believe that God loves them? Are we being Salt & Light, Preserving, purifying, and seasoning our world, bringing hope and healing?

His legacy was "not that we would be saved by His death, because of His love, so that we could attend services in our nice pretty stained glass buildings with new sounds systems and great music one day a week, listening to wonderful theology, studying God’s word while growing deaf to the cries of the poor & oppressed, the screams of injustice, the silence of the lonely."

The purpose of his persecution was not so that we would become a people who can not be identified in a proverbial line-up of our lives against those of the world. One foot in the world, one in the church.

The purpose of Christ’s sacrifice was not for it to be remembered and celebrated simply as a 4 day weekend. It is to be celebrated with our life as we are reminded of the persecution that was endured, the price that was paid so that we might be saved.

Christ was persecuted for a purpose: so that God’s work could continue in and through us. We were saved so that His legacy lives on, so that everyone would know His love, and saving grace. We were saved so that God would be glorified.

Christ was persecuted for a purpose; so that we could be saved by His Grace. Believing this, let us enter into Easter celebrations, reflecting on the great gift Christ gave us, by giving up His life. Then in light of the magnitude of such a gift, let us commit to focusing on living what we believe!

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