living the Christian life - or - living the crucified life?
"I have been crucified with Christ; and 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 up for me."
What a blessing it is to live the Christian life! The fact the Almighty permits personal access to His throne of grace shows His love and devotion for His children. With the many blessings we have received in Christ, it sounds almost inconceivable that we might take them for granted, but so many times we do. One of the most dangerous snares is complacency, seeking the path of "least resistance." We may easily learn to graze on the benefits of salvation, but neglect the responsibilities. We might even say, “this could never happen to me," but it can, and it will happen unless we are proactive in our faith. Could we not call this complacent mindset, living the “Christian" life? While there are certain elements of this phrase that are accurate, it would be better, and even more accurately stated, living the "crucified" life. Consider this: every child of God who lives the "crucified" life also lives the "Christian" life; however, not every child of God that lives the "Christian" life, lives the "crucified" life. There is a tantamount difference between accepting a lifestyle and living a certain style of life. Paul, the vessel through whom this revelation was given, was more than a mere "confessor" of the Christian life. He embraced the “crucified” life by allowing the "Father of spirits" to put to death (crucify) all that belonged to his old nature. It was more than just a mental acknowledgment with Paul, but a complete rendering of his will over to Christ Jesus! It is my hope and prayer that all who are in Christ Jesus will go beyond just living the "Christian" life, but also experience the benefits of the “crucified” life. May God bless each of us as we enter this new year. May 2018, be the year we truly embrace the "crucified" life in the county of Gloucester. God bless!