Sunshinelittleone's Blog

All about my love for the Lord

You Call Yourself A….?

on May 28, 2013
Jesus

Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In essentials, unity.
In nonessentials, liberty.
Overall, love.”  St. Augustine

 

I was baptized a Lutheran. I took my First Communion as a Catholic. Jesus became my Lord and Savior in the mountains of Colorado at a non-denominational youth camp. My faith was reaffirmed in the pews of a Presbyterian church. None of these labels have made me holy. I have spent most of my life labelled but unholy. I have hidden behind denomination and seldom held myself accountable in Christ. I have not walked a stellar Christian life, but rather relied on the legalism of religion. I have been condemning and harsh. I have pointed fingers and chastised. I have done anything but ‘love my neighbor.’ I have, undoubtedly held people to standards of man-created religious rules.

I would venture to guess I am not alone, there are many of us out there who focus on the non-essentials of faith, omitting the essential… a relationship with Christ.

Our relationship with Christ is paramount to law. When we live in the shadow of the Cross, how we celebrate is secondary. Our ways of marriage, baptism, communion, worship, etc…is not what gives us salvation or makes us holy. Our faith-walk, in the hands of our Lord, makes us holy. When we die to self to live in Him we are made righteous.

I have a friend who is learning about the facets of different denominations. In her exploration she has made a profound discovery. She shared this enlightenment with me. (And I am paraphrasing)

‘When it is all done, when I go to be with the Lord, He is not going to congratulate me for being a good ____________ (insert denomination), rather, He is going to ask me if I loved His Son, if I lived for Jesus.’

That is holy…Living for Christ.

Peter give us three components essential to our life in Christ.

  1. We are to live in HOPE. We are to set our expectations on Christ alone. We must believe and trust that Jesus never fails…ever. We are to take our hope and desire and eyes off of anything other than our Lord, and recognize that in Christ we find our worth, our good, our life. If we are living for anything other than Christ we will find ourselves at an impasse. Immersing ourselves in the Word of God directs our paths from lost and wondering to hope and love.

 

  1. Our lives are to be HOLY. There is only One who is perfect, without blemish. One who is worthy of praise and worship. CHRIST.  When we are called to be HOLY we are called to embrace the Lord fully. We are to accept His perfect invitation of eternal life through His blood. The gift of salvation.  We are to ask for an indwelling of the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts. In doing so, we become HOLY…not perfect. No matter what our religious label, we are not holy. Our labels (and I LOVE THIS Pastor Steve) “Our labels are worthless in heaven.” YES! Our reverent fear of the Lord makes us holy. Our holiness increases the more we pursue the Lord.

 

  1. 3.       Peter tells us to live in HARMONY. To love with a pure HEART. To love our neighbors…our greatest call in Christ. To love one another as Christ has loved us. I must choose to live a life of LOVE. I must set aside my offenses and bitterness and give freely the unconditional love of Christ. I must forgive without condition. I must share His heart. I fully expect that from Him; to love me without pretense or condition and yet, I am wholly incapable of doing that very act. I thank Him for His grace and mercy that redeems me and makes each moment new and fresh. I must remember to love

 

“Because God first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

It is easy to fall back on our denomination, on our legalism, on our principals of religion. But, it is right to live in Christ…and it’s not always easy. It can be difficult and uncomfortable. We can feel bruised and battered in our efforts to be Christ-like. But He makes bright and new in His blood. He washes us clean in His righteousness. He makes us Holy by His spirit.

I am encouraged by Peter. He gives me tangible goals. He encourages me to live fully in Christ.

“…your faith and hope are in God.” 1Peter1:21

 

 

 

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