Following Christ Is Not Just Being Nice

Following Christ Is Not Just Being Nice

Recently I’ve been wondering how Spirit-filled life of a follower of Christ should really look like. I am certain that being a Christian does not just mean being nice. Yet, so many of us live their lives according to our own fancies and the expectations of the society. We might do some good deeds here and there to feel good. But we are not radically altering our lives. Life as we know it is easy, comfortable, and safe. And we don’t want to rock the boat.
But is this the way to live an unforgettable life?
Is this the way to make a difference?
Is this the way to follow Christ?
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
(Gal 6: 7-8, MSG)

John Ortberg points out that “the decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.” Following Christ is not just being nice.

If someone claims, “I know him well!” but doesn’t keep his commandments, he’s obviously a liar. His life doesn’t match his words. But the one who keeps God’s word is the person in whom we see God’s mature love. This is the only way to be sure we’re in God. Anyone who claims to be intimate with God ought to live the same kind of life Jesus lived. (1 John 2: 4-6, MSG)

We are called to follow Christ’s example. We can’t do it on our own. But the Holy Spirit in us empowers us to follow Christ and live radically for God Almighty.

Being nice is not enough.
Seeking entertainment and fun experiences is not enough.
Using our lives selfishly is not enough.

We need to follow Christ. And stick with it.

My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? (Gal. 5: 16-18, MSG)

If we want to follow Christ it means that our lives are not going to be ours anymore. We are to follow Christ wherever he leads us. God is calling us for a radical life-change. Being nice is not enough. But how does a life wholly devoted to God look like? This is what I am praying about daily. I am praying that God would show me -clearly- what he wants me to do. Today, next month, next year, next decade and beyond. It is scary to leave the choice to God. But I do know there’s nothing I desire more than being used by God for his glory.

Everyone’s calling is different. Only God can tell you how he wants you to live your life. But the common thing is that each of our lives need to be wholly yielded to God. We need to operate out of love, not out of fear. We need to be open for God’s guidance, God can do so much more with our lives than we ever could. We need to trust God to catch us as we take leaps of faith as he is calling our names.

Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. (Gal. 5: 25, MSG)

Faith is meant to be lived out. Following Christ is a radical way of life. Following Christ is about…
…serving God with everything we’ve got.
…loving the people sends into our lives.
…letting the Holy Spirit change us inside out.
…saying ‘yes’ when God asks us to do something.
…putting God first, everything else second.

 

Gracious God,
We don’t just want to let our lives pass by,
we want to live fully in you!
Show us clearly what you want us to do with our lives.
Prepare us, empower us, always abide in us.
May your will happen in our lives!
May our lives be fully yielded to you!
May we bring glory to you!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

Q4U: What does following Christ mean to you?

Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you life fully by following Christ!

Image courtesy of Jose Fares. Linking up today with Brag on God Friday.

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