Do You Have Quality of Life?
I read something the other day that really made me think: Life in Christ includes forgiveness of sin, Jesus as the Leader of our lives, and the promise of forever with him. Yes, life in Christ is indeed eternal, yet most of us operate as though it begins when our bodies die.* Think about it--life with Christ is abundant fullness of life even now. You see, when we assume our new lives in Christ, it means we will live eternally with him, but are also now fully alive in him, just as Paul himself said, “for to me to live is Christ.”1 It means defeat of sin when we apprehend our new identities in him. Our exalted position in Christ is not a hypothetical thing or a goal for which we strive. It is an accomplished fact!2 It was part of the “It is finished." oh man, that is good.
May I ask you, ‘what is the quality of your new life in Christ?’ Paul said, we “have been raised to new life in Christ” … but it seems that so many of us Christ followers are not really alive, not really living the abundant life. And since Jesus said that is what he came for – that we may have abundant life3--then what’s our problem?
Yuck. Our problem is too much yuck. We have yuck that we carry around with us. Many of us aren’t even aware of it, or think ‘that’s just the way it is’ … ‘just the way I roll’ … or ‘cuz of what I’ve been through…’ Hmmm, so I guess that Jesus’ ability to provide his children with abundant, joy-filled living is limited. Is that we are saying here? But, but Paul told the Roman Christians that in all things, ‘we are more than conquerors.’4 Was Paul making grand claims he did not believe or live? No, Paul knew from experience. He wrote, ‘in all things, we are more than conquerors’ to the Romans before these words to the Colossians about living new life in Christ. He could say he was a conqueror; he could talk about new, true life in Christ, because he had experienced it. ‘Because his life had been easy? Of course not! We know that Paul faced every trial known to man.
I used to be friends with an army vet who lived off his pension, and just worked out all day long. At 39 years of age, Tom was quite a physical specimen—6 ft., 6 inches tall, 202 pounds, and just two percent body fat. One number on his daily routine was running through thick beach sand, with a 75-pound rucksack fastened to a shoulder harness, dragging through the sand. What an image! It was hard work and a lot of strain on Tom to run fast with that dragging through the sand behind him. Many years hence and yet I can picture him.
Under normal, everyday circumstances you are not meant to go through life, dragging heavy weight behind you. Christian, you aren’t meant to have a rucksack of yuck, weighing you down, making life seem like a chore, stealing your joy, making you bitter, or keeping you from contentment.
“Search me, O God,” the psalmist prayed, and then invited God to give him a pure heart. Do you want to get rid of your rucksack? Now’s the time. The Lord is good, and his mercy endures forever.6 He is waiting to take your rucksack and give you newness of life in him…really.
You can build your life on him ~ daily.
With all my love from North Carolina,
* I read it again because I wrote it - it was solid
1 - Philippians 1.21
2 - Warren Wiersbe, NT Bible Commentary
3 – John 10.10
4 – Romans 8.37
5 – Psalm 139.23
6 – Psalm 106.1