Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Devotion to Christ

Chuckle: A fella I hadn't seen in quite a while, said to me, "I thought you were dead!" "No," I said, "but I do have many of the symptoms."
Quote: "We would often be ashamed of our best actions if the world only knew the motives behind them." --Francois De La Rochefoucauld

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20 NIV).
Have you given much thought to what it means to be fully devoted to Christ? In his Gettysburg Address, while dedicating the cemetery there, Abraham Lincoln used these words in reference to the soldiers buried there: "They gave the last full measure of devotion" to their country. A devotion so great that one would willingly give his life for the object of that devotion grabs our attention and causes us to reflect on our own level of devotion.
Paul realized that Christ gave His last full measure of devotion when He died that we might live. He also recognized that to become like Christ should be the goal of every believer. In our passage, Paul says, in essence, that his old self had been crucified (died) so that Christ could become his life by living in him and through him. This is an awesome concept, and one that every Christian should aspire to live out. It means removing self so completely that our lives become Christ living in and through us. People will see Christ when they see how we talk and act.
Obviously, the first step in becoming completely devoted to Christ is to trust him by faith as Savior. ". . . man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ" (verse 16). Saul (Paul) had previously worked hard to please God by observing and enforcing God's Old Testament laws -- trying to live the "good" life. In his zeal to serve God, he became a chief persecutor of early Christians. However, when he met Christ, he came to realize that living by a set of rules was inadequate, and that he could be reconciled to God only by faith in Jesus Christ. When he gave his heart and life to Christ, his old self died, and now it is Christ living in him. When Christ died, our sins died with Him and relationally we have become one with Christ. Now His experiences are ours.
It was Christ's love and sacrifice for him, that motivated Paul in his devotion to him. Because we have been crucified with Christ, we have been reconciled to God and are free to grow in Christ's likeness. And in our daily lives, we have Christ's resurrection power as we continue to fight against sin. We are no longer alone because now Christ lives in us -- He is our strength for living and our hope for the future. What is your level of devotion to the Christ who gave His last full measure of devotion to us?
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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