Day 4: The Christian Life

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second like it is this, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other greater commandment than these. Mark 12:30-31

The Christian life is an active life. There are various kinds of activities. There is the activity of the circus clown. This is physical. There is the activity of the man of business – that is intellectual, systematic, and methodical. There is an activity that gets its motive or impulse from far within – from a source from far within. That is spiritual, and that is what I mean by the “Christian life being an active life.”

The outward look. As you enter into the life and spirit of Christ, and they enter into you as you read his words and become filled with his purpose, you being to discover that the extent of His love for the universe is not bounded by any age, people or time.

You find that the world is large – not as large as his sacrifice. That it is sinful. But not so sinful as his forgiveness is powerful. That is lost – but not so far lost that it cannot be found by the good shepherd.

As these things begin to dawn upon you, you find yourself not living in your little town, but that you are living in the world. Your little town is just a mere spot where a few of God’s people have been redeemed from the power of evil and blessed with the hope of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

It wakes a man up to the fact that there is something outside himself – of a world beyond his little horizon. And he thinks of a world having some sort of a future to it.

He may keep right on at what he is doing, but all his physical and mental activity will be shaped and colored by his belief in the divine meaning of human life.

As such, one cannot be busy with everything except that which ought to demand a large share of our thought and life. But what a little circle the most of us move about in.

I wonder if you have found this to be true. The people who know the least about God are the very ones who have so much to say about his system of government – that it is all a blunder. The people who know the least about the church are the ones who are everlasting talking about its failures, but do very little to help matters. The people who know the least about the woes and sufferings of the world talk the most complainingly about their own. The people who think the least about other people are the ones who think the most about themselves.

If you feel sure that God made this universe and put you in it. If you can rest your heart’s faith on the atonement as a great fact, it will simply take it off your heart and cause you to want to rush out in the street and compel men to listen to the story of the gospel.

For if you tell them how to make ten dollars, they will be interested. If you tell them of politics and matters of state or education, they are interested. So why not interest them in the fact that God loves them enough to have suffered for them; that he has promised eternal life to all me. and the only price to be paid is loving obedience and faith.

There is nothing that will wake a man up so thoroughly to a sense of the power and beauty and exhilaration and triumph of living, as the full knowledge of Christ as a personal savior, a personal redeemer from evil.

It does not mean perfection – far from that. It does not mean freedom from anxiety and depression and fits of the blues.

It does mean this:

  • A peep through God’s telescope.
  • A growing belief in the final triumph in God’s kingdom.
  • A more unselfish and active life.
  • A lifting of the man upward with increasing hopefulness and usefulness in the world.

A knowledge of Christ as a personal redeemer broadens a man’s view of himself and starts him up to develop unused powers within. This is the inward awakening.

The inward awakening is two-fold. Unworthiness. The most satisfied man in the world, self-satisfied man, is the man who thinks that he does just about what is right. They have no burden of sin resting upon them. They can go to the temple on Sunday and pray like the Pharisee of old. While the man who sees the bleeding Christ and feels the touch of his divine mercy, stands in some obscure place and cries out “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

The more a man knows of Christ and his love, the more he knows of himself and his inward imperfection and the more willingly is he to acknowledge it. The burden of sin like Christian in the pilgrim’s progress has rolled away at the foot of the cross. Not that any more. But you are carrying is a keener knowledge of yourself, a finer conscience. A cleaner look at the real nature of right and wrong. A more luminous comparison between what I am and what I might be.

A Christian is always awake to a knowledge of his own worthiness. A sense of unworthiness does not mean what some make of it, constant confession of sin and groaning of past deeds. It means more knowledge of the inner man. It means a higher standard. It means humility but not humiliation. It means that the Christian is awake to his worthiness. Not contradictions here; for the same light that has shown him his sinful, selfish heart has also shown him the possibilities of that heart for progress in all high and noble things.

A look within, monsters of selfness and impurity and greed of all sorts. But I am equipped to subdue and be victorious. I am capable of doing what these evil demons say I can’t do. Christ the savior has lifted the curtains and I see a host of the redeemed and I take courage.

It is time we were looking for a text. Now suppose we take these words; “Though shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all they soul, and with thy mind, and with all thy strength. And thy neighbor as thyself.” Mark 12:30-31.

That covers the ground of Christian activity. A command that demands your best self. If lived up to what a change in society and government there would be!

To sum up: The Christian life is an active life because a thorough knowledge of Christ wakens a man outwardly to a knowledge of the world as a universe of sinful but savable humanity. It wakens a man inwardly by showing him the state of his own heart and its capacity for good or evil. Unworthiness and worthiness.

Christian activity rests upon love to God and love to men. Love to God for he gave his son for our redemption. Love to man, because he is our brother in the same redemption.

Upon such a basis the Christian sets his life and builds upward to God and out toward man. The deity is enthroned in his heart, and humanity swaying the scepter of his great hope for a final triumph of soul over matter.

From Grandpa’s Whit and Wisdom, Devotions compiled by Liza Weidle / January 2023

Published by Liza Weidle

As a savvy connector with a passion for making the world better, I am known as a good listener and resource immersed in learning trends, tackling challenges, and helping organizations translate vision into actionable, results-driven strategies. In other words, I get the job done!

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