Read His Words Before Ours!
What if God gave Christians an easy life?
A life free from pain and sorrow;
everything went as desired without any discernible problems.
Life would be sweet, right?
This may seem appealing, but if it were so, we would feel we earned an easy life through salvation. Salvation would be like a business transaction; a contract initiated between two parties, and consummated; chapter closed. In other words, once we pray to Jesus for salvation and receive an easy life, the whole deal is completed.
Let each party continue on;
no need for any abiding relationship with Him;
we have what we wanted.
If salvation was simply an exchange to ensure ease in this present life, would that fulfill God’s intent for salvation? No, God’s plan for our salvation reaches far beyond physical ease. His plan is to restore us back to an abiding relationship with Him, repairing what we have broken through our sin.
In the garden of Eden, our ancestors committed treason against God. Their desire to be as powerful as God made them eat the fruit of the forbidden tree. (Genesis 3:1-7) Immediately, their expectations of self-glory turned to disaster: they ended up with nothing except guilt, shame, and death. So, they went into hiding; they could not face the Holy God with Whom they’d once freely fellowshipped. Sin created a barrier between them and their Creator.
Scripture says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.” (Romans 5:12)
The sin of our ancestors, Adam and Eve, became our sin because we came into existence through them. But God, Who is rich in grace and mercy, out of His great love set in motion a way to restore the lost relationship. When Adam and Eve hid, He sought them out, calling, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
His voice, calling out for His lost children, echoes through the generations. We hear Him calling out to the Israelites who abandoned Him for other gods, saying, “Come, let’s settle this”. (Isaiah 1:18a) Again and again, God declared His plan for restoring man back to an enduring relationship with Him.
The Lord Jesus also made this clear when He lamented over Jerusalem, saying, “How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34)
Furthermore, He seeks relationship rather than mere behavior modification; the Lord Jesus told His disciples to remain in Him, and He in them, for without Him they could do nothing (John 15:4-5). Again, to demonstrate His commitment to establishing a relationship with them, He said, “No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:13-14)
Though He directly addressed His disciples, His words are also for us. He laid down His life for us all, and we are also His friends. What is more, He became sin that we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21) What amazing love!
Sometimes I imagine the Lord Jesus on the cross, His hands and feet nailed, His head carrying a crown of thorns, and blood oozing over His body. Above all, carrying the weight of our sins upon Himself resulted in excruciating agony and total separation from the Father. He is left all alone, abandoned to the consequence of our sins.
Often, I end up shedding tears because my heart cannot comprehend such indescribable love. Sisters, how could such great love and sacrifice possibly be diluted down to the cold distance of a business-like transaction for an easy life?
We see this practically in the life of Apostle Paul when he came to terms with the reality of Christ’s love. His greatest desire was to enjoy a deep relationship with Jesus Christ.
“But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them as dung, so that I may gain Christ.” (Philippians 3:7-8)
As Paul vividly explains, there’s nothing to be cherished in life more than having a deep relationship with our Savior and Maker. Our desire to be free from the problems of this present life should not override our commitment to loving Him. Our love for Him should motivate us to go through every hardship in Him, rather than to simply enjoy an easy life outside of Him.
Standing upon His promise that nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ, let us embrace the Jesus-life, with its joys and sorrows, valuing above all else a deeply relational walk with our Savior.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!