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Column: A FRESH PERSPECTIVE – Sold Out?

By: Mike Kelly
Retired Pastor

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

This quote is from Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. It’s a very direct and stark reminder that we live Christ’s life and not our own.

When Christ went to the cross and died for the forgiveness of sins…all sins, for all men (even you), for all times (even tomorrow)…we also died that day.

The old “me” is no longer alive in me. True, he left a lot behind that I have to clean up but what is there is not the true me.

The true me is alive and living with the Spirit of Christ in me. So, if that’s the case, how come my life feels anemic compared to Paul’s? Sure, Paul was an Apostle called by Jesus.

But then, so are we called by God to tell the Good News to all. We, like Paul, are mortal men who are called by God to sell out entirely to him.

We can do it but unlike Paul, not many of us do. 1 Cor 12: 12-27 “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts forms one body, so it is with Christ.

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.

Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many…Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

We are equal to Paul in the ability to be the part we are called to be. Not all are called to be the guy upfront like Paul. But, even if we are called to be a minor part of the Body, we are equipped by God to do it very, very well.

I often joke that I was called to be a hangnail…an irritant that gets an unusual amount of attention…and I do it very well.

But here’s what makes most of us different from Paul: we don’t sell out 100%. We are not “all in” as the saying goes. We want to hold back from being 100% God driven.

We want our cake and to be able to eat it too. We want to give God enough to show our appreciation for all he has done and to ease our conscience on living life with us at the center and not God.

Paul’s complete sellout to God drove his preaching. Whether he was preaching or debating on the largest and greatest stages of the day, or in a one-on-one Gospel conversation, he was unapologetic and unwavering in his commitment to preach Jesus Christ and His Gospel.

What would our lives look like if we were totally sold out to God? Would we fail to tell our family and friends about what Christ did for them on that cross?

Would we lay hands on the sick, expecting them to recover? Would we give God more time than a couple hours on Sunday? Would the ownership of our money and resources and time become fully His?

Would the world be a different place if we were all sold out like Paul? And look at the last half of that verse: “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” It comes down to faith.

We can live 100% committed to God if our faith is truly in Him. What does it mean to “live by faith” in our daily lives? It doesn’t mean life will be perfect or even good by the world’s standards.

Think about Paul’s floggings, imprisonments, beatings, loneliness, etc.. He didn’t have an easy, pleasure-filled life like most of us desire.

He also didn’t look to himself to meet the demands of his calling. He knew Jesus and he trusted that Jesus would direct him to the places He had chosen for Paul and provide for him. Paul never backed away from doing the will of God out of fear or lack of courage. He went where he was sent and trusted God for the results, often knowing he would end up beaten or in prison.

That’s living by faith. Trusting God for the provisions we need and the results he desires and not counting the costs because no cost is too great to pay for what Christ has done for us. I’ll ask the question again: “Would the world be a different place if we were all sold out like Paul?

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Mike Kelly is the founding pastor of Bryan’s Grace Community Church (retired) and Board Chairman of Bryan’s Sanctuary Homeless Shelter and Williams County’s Compassion (free) Medical Clinic.


 

The post Column: A FRESH PERSPECTIVE – Sold Out? first appeared on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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