Friday, November 15, 2013

Soaring

Butterflies. We miss them in this part of the world when the weather turn cold, but they're still floating, fluttering, streaming through jungles and across meadows. Somewhere. They don't boast or brag, demand attention or live a high-maintenance life. They are serene. Beautiful. Inspiring.



They came to mind this week as our youth group considered the difference between how we live our daily lives and the way God has designed us to live.  What does a saved person really look like? Does salvation make a difference in between that moment of repentance and our entrance to heaven? What should it look like?

And butterflies came to mind--grounded, groveling ones, in particular. How sad. As new creatures we are designed, remade, to show the glory of Christ, the picture of His death and resurrection. We are freed from sin-it's power and penalty, from earthly concerns, from fear and death. We are free to soar in newness of life. Yet here we are, stuck to earth, wings clasped over our heads, trudging along with dusty feet, one step after another. No wonder the world look at us with wonder, disgust, head-shaking disbelief. We hang our heads, and muddle along, feeling like a failure, a spectacle, a freak of nature. But we have so much potential! So much to live for! So many good things to live, take hold of and share. In Christ. Because of Christ. Through Christ.

So? So. So! (as my 3-year-old friend, Bekka says). We look to Him to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2-3 NASB). By faith we take hold of His complete payment for our sin. We choose to die to ourselves and live as a new creation, one who has already received eternal life (1 John 5:11).  We live as free, forgiven, grace-filled, peaceful, joyful creatures. Yes, the world is the same. Yes, the circumstances of life may be difficult. But we are new. We have new choices--by the Spirit and power of God we are able to obey the Word of God. We experience the blessings of doing what is right. We enjoy restored, loving relationships with others. We offer life and hope to those without. And we soar.

"For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.

"Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

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