March 26, 2013
“He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own. ..Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. .. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing.” 2 Corinthians 5:15-18 The Message
“A far better life .. a fresh start .. forgiveness…?” When you follow Jesus you begin to see what your life will look like shaped by His life. You’ll find yourself being pulled in two directions: God’s way and your way. It’s not always a battle, but you’ll see parts of you resist in ways you never thought imaginable. Who would turn down a ‘far better life’? Who doesn’t want a fresh start? Who would ever prefer to live unforgiven? The life God offers you is Son-ward. The life that resists is self-ward. What becomes even richer is that God wants to use your life to tell others what He is up to in the world around you. God wants your life to be a message of what his Son’s life looks like and lives like in this world. At first, on the outside, nothing may visibly change, but on the inside … everything has changed. He begins to shape life inside of you where “dead” has lived. Where you or others have given up .. God has raised you up in his Son. Where you have tried to live on stale … God has created a fresh start in Christ. And the freeing truth about God’s love is that you know it is a gift and one that you could never afford .. and honestly .. you weren’t even looking for it when God found you with his Son. And now this same Son wants you to tell others. St. Francis reportedly instructed his disciples to “always preach the Gospel .. and when necessary use words”. Who is going to live your life today? You … or Christ-in-you? It only takes a moment ….
“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.” Romans 8:29 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F Son-Shaped lives following Jesus and friends of Priority One (KchesterP1@gmail.com)