Reality Check

Have you ever heard another Christian say something that sunk into your heart like a meteor striking the earth? Truth that hits you so squarely between the eyes that you have an immediate reality check and recognize that maybe you’ve started walking by habit rather than faith? That is kind of how I feel with a few things I’ve read and heard recently. I’ve been pondering them and can’t seem to let go of them. I wanted to pass those on to you.

OUR FREEDOM-As I was reading the book Reading While Black it hit me how important our freedom in Christ is. If we understand that we have been slaves to sin, then the freedom of salvation should make us soar with joy! For those who were literally slaves, the salvation offered to them through Christ was their hope and joy. It gave them a freedom no man could steal. Have we, who have lived in freedom, missed what a blessing we have in Christ? Have we taken for granted this amazing gift? Have we continued in a “slave mentality” regarding sin not fully stepping into the freedom that is ours in Christ?

RESURRECTION and HEALING-Francis Chan, in one of his messages, was talking about how we tend to want to see miracles, and we’re so amazed when we see someone healed or overwhelmed by someone raised from the dead. But, he points out, that God changed a heart of stone into a living, beating heart that follows after Him. He has literally raised us from death into life. Salvation is healing and resurrection every single day, every single time a person follows Christ. Have we missed the miracle of new life in Christ? Do we not realize how totally dead and hopeless we were in our sin? Do we not realize we are ALIVE in Christ? Do we not realize we were blind but now we see? Again, are we taking this amazing miracle and gift for granted?

OUR WEALTH-Another message I heard this week that really hit me was the comparison of the rich man (Matthew 19:16-22) who wanted to follow Christ and Zacchaeus (Matthew 19:1-10). The rich man asked to follow Jesus, and Jesus said, “Go and give everything to the poor, then come follow me.” And the rich man went away heartbroken because he had so much wealth that he could not let go of. Then compare that to Zacchaeus who was also a very rich man. Jesus didn’t have to tell him to sell everything. Zacchaeus was so thrilled to know Jesus, he responded with complete repentance and offered freely to give back all he had stolen and more, and to give half his wealth to the poor. He didn’t care any longer about his wealth. The wealth of knowing Christ overshadowed everything else and was more valuable than anything else. Have we realized how rich we are in Christ? Do we understand how valuable the message of salvation is that we hold and can share freely with others?

I wish I could adequately express how these have hit my heart. I pray the Holy Spirit hits your heart with these realizations. I want God to overwhelm us with the reality of His love and gift of salvation. God has lavished His grace, mercy, love, and life on us and has caused His Spirit to flow through us. What a miracle our lives are, not because of who we are, but because of who He is!

I have such a desire for discipleship and to see others discipled, and I want us to start with hearts overwhelmed by God’s goodness and blessing that He has given us through His salvation. We need to return to our First Love over and over. We need to wade into the healing waters of God’s Word daily so that we can know Him better, know His purposes and His ways, and know the Truth.

What is holding us back from being the world-changing message-bearers we were created to be? Maybe it starts with overwhelming gratitude and joy. And I hear Jesus asking us, like He did His disciples, “Where is your faith?” Are we truly walking in faith and living by faith, or are we just holding on to a faith in Christ that doesn’t affect our actions on a daily basis? In America especially, I think it is easy to get lulled into a habit of a form of spirituality that denies the power of God.

Lord, help us. Set our hearts on fire for You and for sharing Your message with this world.

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