Each of us commit to…
September 30th, 2019
I stood at the window, looking out over our parking lot at church. I caught myself in the midst of a firsthand witness of people making a conscious act to get up on a Sunday morning, get dressed, get in their cars, and drive to their places of worship.
It was a beautiful thing.
Then, the Lord whispered in my ear, “You should see this from my perspective!”
It’s something we should always be seeking to do, but we seldom find ourselves taking into account what God sees in the ‘conscious acts’ we engage in. Neither do we comprehend nor even consider the conscious act of God our Father!
The Greatest Conscious Act
My regular readers know where this is going, so let’s get there right away and then consider the peripherals.
The singular greatest act of conscious was indeed our Savior giving Himself for our salvation. If not for His grace we all would perish in eternal death, due to our sinful condition. This unavoidable consequence was and is the ultimate destination or anyone doesn’t fall under His grace.
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10 (CSB)
The act of Jesus willfully subjecting Himself to unbelievable physical and spiritual pain wasn’t accomplished as a result of happenstance. It was intentional and made with a complete consciousness of the costs, as well as, what this act would accomplish. So complete was this awareness, that the very number of souls that would be saved by Jesus in His commitment to this act was known.
Just How Intentional Are We?
The real question that is raised by the vehicles filtering into the church parking lot on a Sunday morning was not why these people got up early on a weekend morning to drive to a central location to worship, but instead, while their attendance this Sunday or any Sunday was admirable, virtually everything we do has with it a level of consciousness to it.
We either chose to conduct our activities in accordance to our faith, or we have decided that doing that isn’t as important to us as the Scripture says it is.
Just one thing: As citizens of heaven, live your life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or am absent, I will hear about you that you are standing firm in one spirit, in one accord, contending together for the faith of the gospel, not being frightened in any way by your opponents. This is a sign of destruction for them, but of your salvation — and this is from God.
Philippians 1:27-28 (CSB)
Here in Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he underscores the Importance of living, not how you can get by, but living worthy of the Gospel that has rescued you from eternal loss.
This pairs perfectly with the fact that we as believers bound by grace, are no longer hold any rights whatsoever. We have been bought and paid for.
Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (CSB)
First, “You are not your own, for you were bought at a price.” We are not our own.
Next, when Jesus purchased us with His blood, He was purchasing a home for His Spirit; a temple for the Holy Spirit. Temples were places of worship yes, but if you pay attention in the scriptures of the Old Testament, you’ll find that these temples were a place where God could come and reside among His people.
Our surrender to Jesus places us in the role of caretakers for God’s home; His home, in us.
Failing to commit to be a true disciple of Jesus is conscious act of disobedience.
Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” John 14:15-16 (CSB)
Jesus went on to not merely ‘suggest’ that we become His disciples, He directly tells us that is what He wants us to be.
Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (CSB)
If you’re going to make disciples, you must be a disciple yourself. After all, a disciple is one who emulates everything possible from their master.
We have been lulled into a state of complacency and comfort, assured that we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit and that the grace of Jesus is enough. There is a distinct difference between availing ourselves of grace, and being obedient disciples of Jesus.
Without the “Conscious Act” of a full commitment to complete and utter surrender to Jesus we become nothing more than God’s disobedient children.
The first chapter of the Gospel of John is one of my favorites for many reasons. There is something very special there in the middle of those words.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 (CSB)
You see, receiving Jesus only gets us so far. It locks us in to having “the right to be children of God”. If we want to actually become those Children, there is a greater obligation.
Getting our ticket punched for heaven isn’t the end of the Christian experience. It can and should be the launch point of growth and development, transforming us into likenesses of Jesus The Christ. This is accomplished only by “A Conscious Act” of obedience and a commitment to become the disciple and disciple maker that Jesus calls us to be.
In His Grace!