Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Rich Life

When people describe their life to me there's often usage of some rather harsh words, followed by an apology, "Sorry, Pastor."  My usual response is to laugh, thanking them for their honesty.  The thing is . . . I know when they choose to live fully in Christ . . . their response to life, regardless of circumstances, will be different because they're no longer living in spiritual poverty.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives (Colossians 3: 16a, NLT).

Life is rich each day when we choose to fill our lives with Christ. I'm not talking about a rule-keeping, negative, rigid existence but an ongoing, active, participative life with Christ.
When we are religious rule keepers, we live in spiritual poverty; when we let the message of Christ fill our life, we are spiritually rich.
When we base our life on religious rules, a rigid and often negative mindset develops, which leads to bondage.  When we enter and engage in a relationship with Christ, the possibilities of life are limitless.

So. When someone tells me, "I'm not religious." I usually respond, "Thank God."  This often evokes a nervous laugh from the individual as if I've broken some kind of rule, it's their assumption that religion is supposed to be my life. I'm pretty sure there's been a few people who thought they might actually go to hell, if, they stayed in the room with me.   But. The atmosphere changes as I explain how Jesus irritated and made the religious leaders mad, how he broke their rules, and how he made it clear God invites us to be in an intimate friendship, I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:15, TNIV).  

The message of Christ is lived out through the words, I have called you friends.   As a friend of Christ, we're no longer bound by the "should" of rules, we no longer need to feel we should pray more, should meditate more, should study God's word more, should love more, and should serve more.  When we let Christ free us from a rule-keeping religion, we pray, meditate, study, love, and serve because we want to go deeper in our friendship with Christ, aligning our life with God's plan for a healthy and full life.  This is the key to ending spiritual poverty.

Stop living in spiritual poverty.
Go deeper in your friendship with Christ.
Let the message of Christ fill your life.
Experience the riches of Christ.

 Learning to Kickstart the day living the rich life,

(written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2011 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)