Sacrificial LoveWhat does it mean for you to carry your cross?
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Sunday September 22
Recently, some friends and I read the Gospels out loud during a weekend retreat. The cabin we rented, nestled in a beautiful setting, was owned by a religious community. We took in a few of their services—enduring worship that was lifeless and joyless. Later, when we met with those who had led the services, we realized that the values they espoused conflicted sharply with biblical Christianity. At that point, we realized that more than just the worship was lacking real life.
Paul, in addressing the believers in Corinth, stated, “You belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 1:4). This phrase means they were in Jesus. They’d been saved from their sins by Him, were in Him, and shared in His eternal “riches” (Ephesians 3:6). What amazing, joy eliciting truths! This should cause all believers to worship Him gratefully and passionately.
The instruction that follows in the remaining chapters is all based on the foundational truths found in 1 Corinthians 1. These include the reality that believers are “called by God to be His own holy people” (v.2). We’re to live “pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return” (Philippians 1:10). Lives like these reflect the righteous commands and instruction found in the Gospels and throughout God’s Word.
So real life in Christ is more than simply going through the motions of musty worship, and it certainly isn’t redefining values based on our desires. It’s expressed in the lives of ardent worship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And it shines from the lives of those who are carefully, obediently following God’s commands as they “eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:7). That’s the life Jesus reveals in the Gospels—real life! —Tom Felten
Read Romans 12:1-2 and consider what it says about holiness, worship, and having minds transformed by Jesus.
How does your worship reflect the joy you’ve found in Christ? Why is it vital that we not live out an altered version of God’s Word based on our sinful desires?
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