Defending the lifestyle

Related Devotional

From 4-1-06 journal entry

At the time of this journal entry, I was reading a book entitled “God Came Near” by Max Lucado.  He wrote: “Let Him be human (he was writing about Jesus while He was here on the earth) as He intended to be.  Let Him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let Him in can He pull us out.  As a volunteer helper in the lecture series, I had come with memorized verses and responses loaded in my evangelistic six-shooter. However, I came prepared to defend a lifestyle, not a Savior.  I was ready to argue morality, doctrine, heaven and hell. I wasn’t ready to argue a man.”

I read recently about finding fulfillment in the Christian lifestyle, and even as parts of it are now driving me crazy, I am still defending it; the lifestyle. The doctrine, the morals, the meetings, the ministry, how we lived as workers, but I wasn’t simply defending Him.  It was all the props that went with Him that I was defending.  Just simply defending Christ wouldn’t have been enough.  I didn’t know what to say about Him.

When someone new would come to our meetings, I hoped they liked us.  The people.  The messages.  I hoped they saw Him in us.  I rejoiced when someone new would profess because now they were embracing the group.  But, if that person had told me after the meeting they professed in, “No, I’m just embracing Jesus”, I would have been disappointed because obviously, that person didn’t ‘get’ it.  I would argue, “But that person can’t be right because you can’t separate Him from the fellowship and the ministry. They are all one and the same.”

Yes, Jesus wanted us to have fellowship with other believers.  Yes, He needed a ministry. But He wanted both of them to be totally taken up with Him because He was their salvation.  He didn’t want them to be selling the accessories.  The accessories were just that; accessories.  They were perhaps good but they were not vital to salvation.  They might have helped make the journey easier sometimes, but without them, you would do just fine because HE was more than enough.”

Jesus was not enough.  It breaks my heart to even write that because now I know He is enough.  He’s more than enough! I don’t want or need to try to persuade people about anything except Him.  Putting the focus on how the ministry lived or where they met together in church; is now so obviously wrong to me.  I want the focus to be all on Him; who He was and is, His love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy, understanding, patience, grace, His suffering, His triumphs, His power and His words.

I don’t remember when I fell in love with Jesus but it was a long while ago.  I fell in love with Him for so many reasons; reasons that I just mentioned in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.  No one has loved me unconditionally like He has, committed to me like He has, stood by me, and defended me. I owe Him everything.

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6 thoughts on “Defending the lifestyle

  1. Darla! I am LOVING every word you write… I wonder if all who leave the system have to go through many of the same eye opening experiences and mind blowing changes in mind and heart as you have? i know i could be writing some of this!!! It is wonderful to see it so clearly expressed! xxxxx

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