Keith Green wrote a song called “I want to be more like Jesus”
Here’s a portion of the lyrics:
As each day passes by,
I feel my love run dry.
I get so weary, worn,
And tossed around in the storm.
Well I’m blind to all his needs,
And I’m tired of planting seeds.
I seem to have a wealth,
Of so many thoughts about myself.
I want to, I need to, be more like Jesus.
I want to, I need to, be more like Him.”
To what are you giving your life? What are you living for? I’ve been asking those questions myself over the past few weeks.
Today we hear a lot of people talking about what they are against. Abortion. The Death Penalty. Taxes. Immorality.
As for me, I’ve spent some of my life talking and teaching others against some things. I do believe some things are right and some are wrong. Some call me kind of black and white on most issues. Well, even if I am right about those things, if I am only living focused on the things I am against, then what kind of life is that anyway? A frustrated one.
When things are going pretty well and I am walking, doing the right things and telling others what they should not do can give me an air of superiority. I can be even more offensive in my “goodness”. What does all this “goodness” mean? Absolutely nothing in the big picture, without the Grace of God.
So my motivation to obey God is not to gain favor or earn points with the Creator. No, this is just religion – my way of earning the right to demand what I consider justice. In contrast, it is because of God’s great love for me that Christ died for my many, many sins. So how else can I respond? When I realize where I stand outside of the Grace of Christ, I must obey God out of gratitude of what has been given to me. How can I not put him as the first priority in my life?
So I should live for other people. I should encourage instead of criticize. I should respond with truth instead of deception. I should be patient instead of the person who responds explosively.
Ephesians chapter four, tells me I should live a life, walking in a way worthy of the great grace I have received through Christ. Paul urges me to walk. I may fall down, but I should get right back up and start again. Two steps forward. Sometimes three steps back. Then two steps forward. Progress is slow sometimes. But I must keep walking with toward the life God has called me to – a life of increasing forgiveness, patience, kindness, truthfulness, morality….