RENEWING OUR MINDS
Reaching a lost world begins with our own changed lives by the grace and salvation of Christ. But that’s just the beginning…that’s why we’re called infants in Christ!
He calls us to a new life with changed hearts and minds that no longer live for our own selfish flesh and desires but by His grace and for His Kingdom and glory.
This is done through real discipleship under His Lordship where He takes priority over every aspect of our lives. In order to gain our lives we must lose them for His sake (Luke 9:23-24). We also must understand that we are called to obedience as His disciples and as we mature in His Word and Spirit we take His message of new life to a lost and dying world. That’s why Jesus came and we need to share His Love and Lordship with all that we can.
I’ve said it many times but Biblically this begins and is to be done first in our families. If we are not doing the job as disciples in our homes the evidence is clear that just going to church is not getting it done. We must build up our families in The Lord that will strengthen His Church and prepare us to face a world that doesn’t even know they need Him or has outright rejected Him. This takes faith, humility, courage and Truth in Love!
Why Love & Lordship? Authority is The Author’s Design
We must practically deal with the brokenness of our relationships and impurity of our sin and the related consequences and problems. To truly change and deal with the sin in our personal and relational lives and help those who are lost requires a heart change and there is ONLY ONE who has paid the price to change your and my heart and life. We must not only accept His free gift of salvation and Him as Savior, we must make Him Lord and walk as His disciples! (John 13:34-35)
Walking as Christ’s disciples ultimately means that we understand and mourn for those in the world around us who do not know Christ and certainly don’t know Love or how to love. Even many of those who sit in our churches do not understand His Love and Lordship (Authority). (2 Timothy 4:2-4; Colossians 2:8) This is not a condemnation, just something we must recognize and work on as disciples of Christ.
They will likely be living by many, if not all, of the false assumptions covered in these posts. It is imperative that we understand His Word, that He reigns in our lives, and our desire is that we share it with others by word and deed. We must not make the mistake of thinking that most of the people we interact with grasp what this means in their lives and relationships.
Look around, folks. Even in many of our churches we’ve placated based on these wrong assumptions of His Love and Lordship. The evidence is overwhelming. We’re not getting it or passing it on as disciples making disciples in our homes, churches, or communities. There are a lot of converts but not a lot of disciples. His final command and Great Commission to us is to be His disciples who make His disciples, teaching and training all who will receive His salvation to walk in obedience and grace in Truth and Love!
We can’t continue with the status quo! Christ’s prophetic warning in Matthew 7:21–23 has everything to do with a right relationship with Him that is lived out and observed by the world in our relationships, first in our families and then in His Church. We must truly receive by His grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10), and then strive to live out this priority relationship with Him (Philippians 2:12-13). This is what gives us His Authority in the lives of others as they will see it and invite us to have influence in their lives—His True Authority lived out in Love!
Living for Christ…or for people (Colossians 3:17, 23; John 2:24)
When we fail to place Christ above all else, as His Word commands us to do, we make many “good” things idols…good works, accomplishments, giving, success, people…even church. This is true in marriage, family, friendships, workplaces and yes, even in our churches. All of these things can and will be served and attained in His good will and for His Glory as we place him first!
The refusal to be disillusioned is the cause of much of the suffering in human life. It works in this way — if we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive; we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give. There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why Our Lord is apparently so severe regarding every human relationship is because He knows that every relationship not based on loyalty to Himself will end in disaster. Our Lord trusted no man, yet He was never suspicious, never bitter. Our Lord’s confidence in God and in what His grace could do for any man, was so perfect that He despaired of no one. If our trust is placed in human beings, we shall end in despairing of everyone. —Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest
I continue with more poignant and provocative thoughts in the following quotes…
Christ’s commission to the disciples is his commission to the church and is his plan for every single believer. No one has been chosen to be just a recipient of the redemptive work of his kingdom. No, everyone who has been chosen to be a recipient has also been commissioned to be an instrument of the work of that kingdom as well…It is sad so many of God’s people spend their lives searching for some significant endeavor to give themselves to when they have been chosen to be part of the most powerfully transformative work in the history of the universe. Part of our problem is that we tend to carry around with us an unbiblical definition of ministry that allows us to live comfortably as Christian consumers. (Matthew 5:13-16; Luke 14:34-35) —Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies
One of the quotes from our book, The Authority of Love, says, “When we place the body above the Head we are in idolatry.”
More from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp…
Your spiritual life is…way bigger that the surface Christianity to which it is often reduced. You could read your Bible every day and the entire Bible each year and still live for yourself. You could be faithful in your attendance at all your church’s scheduled gatherings and still live for your little kingdom. You could regularly place your hard-earned money in the plate and still not live with god’s kingdom in view. You could be an expert in the theology of the Word of God and still shrink your life down to what you want and what you tell yourself that you need. You could participate in ministries to the poor and needy and still not live for the big kingdom. You could do all these thing, and the trajectory of your life could still be more toward the kingdom of self than the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 23:13, 23-26) True Christianity is always a matter of the submission of the heart to God, something that only rescuing grace can produce.
One of the greatest ploys and draws of the enemy is to make us think that we must be liked and accepted in order to be effective. We must be gentle and respectful (1 Peter 3:15) but His Truth has always flown in the face of our sinful flesh and culture. We must be more concerned with speaking His Truth in Love (Ephesians 4:14-16) even when the world rejects that Truth and in many cases us…we are to love them and share His Gospel with them anyway. Unless they simply reject it and we are told to move on (Matthew 10:14; Mark 6:11; Luke 9:5). Compromising His Truth leads to the following quote from The Authority of Love…
Talk of civilization or society crumbling over bogus and pseudo rights is not the problem. We won’t crumble because these are not protected, rather we will crumble with the lawless, immoral and unethical continuation of so-called “rights.” Every global power that has existed and subsequently “died out” did so from moral collapse within – and every bit of it posited as something good, right, just and fair – actually to mask the indulgent, selfish and pleasurable! How stubborn or downright blind do we need to be to see that the exact same immoralities posed as moral, right and good are what is deteriorating our culture and society today? It is happening (and is evident) in every part of our culture – government, media, education, religion (church) and home/family! Who will stand for the Truth about right, good and morality? That is who will either make a difference in pointing people to Christ and making disciples or be persecuted for trying and either way in the end will be proven right!
Love and Lordship…Food for Thought – We need to quit playing church, doing church and even being church…we need to be Christ’s disciples and that is only done in loving relationship and fellowship…everything then follows from our relationship with Him. Let’s live for Him and be a Church the gates of Hell cannot stand against!
Love and Lordship…Action Item(s) –
- Read the Scriptures in this article and ask The Holy Spirit to teach you.
- Discuss the areas in your life where Christ is Lord.
- Now the fun part…discuss the areas in your life where Christ is not Lord?
- Find someone more mature than you in the faith to disciple you. In time, look for those who you can disciple.