Monday, February 19, 2018

Life As A Journey

Life As A journey

1st Peter 1:17 And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence. 18 For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. [HCSB]

The Apostle Peter wrote this first letter that bears his name to the Christians living in what is now Turkey. They were not living in the Holy Land. They were not living within easy reach of the church of Jerusalem or the large contingent of Christians in Rome. Many may have been refugees driven out by the hostility that was beginning to grow around them. They were isolated, scattered and as such would face the blunt of the coming persecution on their own.

In many ways they were a reflection of the Christian life we live today.

We too are temporary residents of this world, simply passing through on our journey home. However that does not mean that this journey is pointless or merely something to get through before we get home.  It is in fact a journey that is designed to draw you closer to God, closer to each other and prepare you for an eternity spent with Christ. It is sometimes tough, just as it was for the early Christians Peter was writing to, but it is also important and even vital to our growth as Christians.

One thing to remember is that it is a journey and not a wandering. We may not know where the next day will lead us but God does. In fact He has already given us a map (scripture), a compass (Holy Spirit) and a guide (Jesus Christ) to lead us and direct us. It is up to us, though, to persevere and see this journey through.
“Follow boldly in your Master’s steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment.” ~ Alistair Begg
When I was in the Marines they emphasized that Marine is a title that must be earned. It is earned through the journey of boot camp and all of the grueling physical and mental challenges it entails. There are many times when that journey seems not worth it or even impossible but for those who persevere the title of Marine - and all the responsibility that goes with it - is waiting.

Our title - Christian - is one that is earned not by us but by Jesus Christ, by His perfect sacrifice and completed work on the Cross. It is one we are graciously given at the moment when we accept Christ’s wonderful free gift of Himself. However that doesn’t make our challenging journey meaningless. While our journey does not earn us our salvation or make us “more Christian” it does transform us. The journey is the method that God uses, through the Holy Spirit working within us, to transform us more into the image of Jesus and prepare us for our eternal home.

It is sometimes tough, and often we make it tougher than it needs to be, but by faithfully walking it we will not only be able to grow ourselves but be able to help others on their journey as well.

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