This morning, I was contemplating how much my life has changed since I became a Christian in October 1980. Today, despite my circumstances (illness, much less wealth etc.) my life is now filled with a deep peace and joy. I am no longer focused on things but find myself reaching out to encourage and give myself to others in need and my relationship with my sweetheart is flowing with a depth of love that loves him as he is. I also find that I am able to ask for forgiveness more easily as well as forgive others without bearing any grudges. I know these changes in my life only came through Christ, as I yielded myself completely to Him each day through reading His word, praying and taking time to praise God through hymns and songs of praise. I love singing hymns written by amazing Christians of long ago. The depth of the words I sing, humbles my heart and moves me to places with God that I can’t express in words.
Yet, I am not perfect until I get to heaven and must persevere in becoming more like Jesus for the Spirit of God in me is always in conflict with the spirit that’s in the world that interrupts my attention on God’s purpose for my life. So my encouragement to anyone reading this is to persevere in faith and know with a certainty that God loves you and will complete the good work He has begun in you. This is a prayer that I pray often and I hope it helps you on your journey with Christ:
Look into my heart, O Lord, for I am willing that you should root out from deep within, all that is displeasing to You. May my life glorify you in the way I think, speak and act. Jesus, forgive my sin and help me when I am weak to be strong in You. Blessed am I among women to live and love in this temple of Your Holy Spirit In Jesus name, Amen
As I pondered how my life focus has changed, I also came across this inspiring article by Paul Tripp that expresses so well what our focus should be as Christians. Something to think about this Christmas.
“What does it mean to be an ambassador of the King? It means reflecting his message, his methods, and his character wherever he’s placed us.”
It really is a very different way of looking at life. It’s a very different basis for making decisions. It’s a very different template for deciding how you should act, react, and respond. It’s a very different way of thinking about who you are and what you’re supposed to be doing. It is a radical way of living, quite different from the worldview that is preached all around us.
The common cultural worldview has you at the very center. It says that life is all about your pursuit of happiness. When someone or something makes you unhappy, it says that the world is not operating the way it is supposed to operate. It really does pull the walls of your motivation and concern to the tight confines of your wants, your needs, and your feelings. But the Bible presents a polar opposite worldview that is to form the identity and lifestyle of every believer. Scripture asserts that you were bought with a price (the life and death of Jesus), so you don’t belong to you anymore (actually, because of creation, you never did belong to you). Take time to look at 1 Corinthians 6: 12– 20, which applies this truth to something as personal as your sexual life.
God has a purpose for you. It is that you would live as one of his representatives; that is, that you would live representatively. And what are you representing? You are called to represent your Savior King. And what does that practically look like? Representing the King means you represent his message, his methods, and his character. Representing the King’s message means that you look at every situation and relationship in life through the lens of the truth of Scripture— the center of which is the gospel of Jesus Christ— and determine to help others look at life that way too. Representing his methods means that you seek to be a tool of the kind of change he intends to make in people and in the world around you. And representing his character simply means asking yourself again and again, “What of the person, work, and character of the Lord Jesus Christ does this person need to see in the situation that he or she is now in?”
There is no better word for this bigger-purpose-than-my-happiness way of living that God has called each of us to than the word ambassador. It reminds us that there is a King and that we are not him. It moves us to remember once again that our lives do not belong to us. And it puts practical legs on what it means to represent the Savior King in practical ways every day. God’s grace has not only rescued you, but has included you in much bigger and more beautiful purposes for your life than you would have ever chosen on your own.