Be challenged with these words: EFFECTIVE CHRISTIANITY.
Something effective is something that WORKS…that makes a difference…
that PRODUCES the desired result.
What impact does being a Christian have in your life or upon others?
If we profess to be Christians, shouldn’t our lifestyle be a visible witness to others
of the presence of Christ in us?
In NATURAL life we expect to see a BABY grow and mature into an ADULT, functioning to contribute in some way to the good of society.
In like manner, our entrance into Christianity begins spiritually with NEW BIRTH. As we purpose to be “followers of Christ”, we should expect to become increasingly more LIKE JESUS both in character and works. This means Christianity, “genuine” Christianity, has to work FIRST IN OURSELVES before it can be seen to be effective CORPORATELY and of some benefit to society.
1 JOHN 3:8 tells us that Jesus main purpose was to DESTROY the works of the devil. That includes everything that deceives people and causes them not to be heirs of salvation. We also need to note that JESUS didn’t seek to fulfill His purpose through condemnation but “went about doing good…” (Acts 10:38) He worked hrough LOVE, knowing it is the very goodness of God that leads a sinner into REPENTANCE.
Looking at our own lives can we see we are EFFECTIVELY LIVING and ACHIEVING the purpose of Christianity? We can busy ourselves with many spiritual paths and exercises.
However, at the end of the day, we must ask ourselves what is the FRUIT of our worship, prayer, Bible study, etc. All these things are good disciplines but must be taken to the next level.
New Birth in Christ is a BEGINNING….we should DAILY be growing in our KNOWLEDGE
OF GOD and be INCREASINGLY FILLED with His Presence and power. We should look to become mighty sons and daughters of God, and know that we are alive at such a time as this present age TO DESTROY the power of satan and his works of darkness! What a high calling God has given us!
Our FALLING SHORT of this mandate, ie any lack of effectiveness, can be attributed to our unwillingness to YIELD WHOLLY to God. Wholly meaning exclusively! To TRUST ONLY in Him…to give Him COMPLETE CONTROL. Anything less than this will cost us. God’s power and Presence in us is DIMINISHED to the degree we rely upon OURSELF and our POSSESSIONS.
The world’s emphasis is on SELF. Unfortunately, the more we focus on ourselves, the more we become self centered and open the door to VANITY and PRIDE. Contrary to popular thought, God does NOT help those who help themselves. He invites us to co-labor with Him. We, being less powerful, are to be yoked together with Him, the all powerful One. When we accept this invitation, all heaven works to back up God’s every Word and promises!
Scripturally, here’s the bottom line:
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
EFFECTIVE Christianity will become a reality in our lives only when we truly DIE TO OURSELF, and ONLY CHRIST lives in us.
Many “self-help” books instruct us how to yield to the Spirit of God; to squash our flesh; to deny our own desires for the good of others, etc. However, unless we actually do these things, and allow them to shape our lifestyle, they are of little value.
The realization of effective Christianity being a life style, is totally connected to the Word I recently shared a couple weeks ago:
2 CORINTHIANS 5:9
“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him.”
Dying to self is living to PLEASE GOD in ALL things…to LOVE HIM MORE than anyone or anything….to LOVE HIM with ALL our heart… ALL our mind…and, ALL all our strength.
It a decision to live in obedience to God’s Word wherever we are.
When we live to please the King, everything is tempered by His LOVE and MERCY.
THE CHALLENGE: Are you an effective Christian? How much of Christ lives in you?