Pastor Jonathan's Monday reflection:
There are some big ideas in the text we studied this week. They are quite radical actually, in relation to how we live and how we are experience freedom in Christ. Read slowly these two verses alone, 1 Cor. 10:24 and 10:31 "Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor." (ESV); "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (ESV).
Living on mission, living for the benefit of other people, that they might be saved. We can get mesmerized by our own freedom, no longer under the burden to live the perfection required and having all food and ritual requirements lifted, and then miss how we can use our freedom to serve others. But Paul says that this is exactly what Christian liberty is for, the good of others - ultimately that they would meet Jesus.
Then add to that the exhortation to do everything you do for the glory of God. That really means everything. Changing diapers. Saying hi to your neighbor. Being kind to your waiter. Helping the needy. Worshiping in church... everything.
These are both radically tall orders. Serve others in my freedom and do it all for the glory of Christ. But this is not a new law; this doesn't make us more secure in Christ. No it is actually the appropriate response to the awakening of the gospel in our hearts. This, seemingly so radical, is meant to be the natural response for those in Christ.
Here is what it takes: giving Jesus the keys to your life, and loving him. We start with love because that is where life with Jesus starts. He loves us. So much he fully sacrifices himself for our salvation and good. In that love we have security, purpose and peace even when life gets crazy. In this love our love for him is also stoked to a raging flame. That we would be love should engender in us love for the giver. There is no greater, more meaningful place to point our love but Jesus. That we would be so so taken by his grace that we could do nothing but respond in love and let that love flow to others!
Then in love, we freely give Jesus the keys to our lives. Savior pilot me, Jesus take the wheel, whatever you want to call it, a sweet surrender of every nook and cranny of our hearts and lives to the mission, authority and goodness of Christ. In that yielding and surrender then be used as he will use you to make himself known. It might mean you start a budget to reveal him in your stewarding of the provision he has given you. It might mean you sell everything and move in with refugees to share life and the gospel. For each of us it will be a unique way of living under the control and direction of Christ. But it will be the best life you have lived, passionate, on purpose, in Christ.
Our church mission is to know Jesus and make him known. Love Jesus and let his love be seen. This is a wonderful mission we are invited to for his glory. Are you up for it? Will you give Jesus all of you? Are you cool with giving Jesus all of the church?
My prayer this week is that he would bring us into this radical life for his glory. That everything would change from here on out. That this is what we are meant for. Be free today. Use your freedom for others. And glorify God.