What’s the Point?

Yesterday, I had one of those “What’s the point?” moments. Not in the sense that I wanted to give up, or that I was suddenly turning on my faith, but in the sense that I was hungry to learn and understand with more depth, why.

What is the purpose and message of Christianity? Love.

Why do we love? That’s how people see Christ in us.

How do we love? Service and sacrifice.

Why do we serve and sacrifice for others? That’s how God tells us to love.

Why do we love? Christ first loved us.

So… what now?

As you can see, my mind seemed to be going in circles, and I just couldn’t seem to make any of the gospel make sense in my head.

(On a side note from all of this, it is so humbling when God reminds us that pursuing him is a daily, hourly, moment-by-moment, neverending desperation for his guidance and spirit in our lives. It seems so natural {prideful, really} to assume that after a certain amount of time “being a Christian”, we can take the reigns and understand life on our own. Thanks for the reminder, Lord.)

What is the connection between Christ’s love for us and how we respond? Friends, this is crucial. If we have this twisted, then we may as well give up and oppose the word of God altogether. If we do not connect our lives of sacrifice and service to the vine that is the reason for it all, then we are simply gongs and symbals and goats that will be separated from him on judgement day because we never knew him (1 Corinthians 13:1), (Matthew 25:31-46).

Yeah, whoa.

Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Paul is telling us that when we live sacrificially, in a mindset of constantly thinking of others and counting them as more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3), we are worshipping God. Being a “follower of Christ” is not merely a label – it means literally, just that.

We follow in his footsteps.

We do as he did when he walked the earth, and as he still does through the power of the Holy Spirit. And, we don’t just sacrifice when it’s easy or convenient, or when we are feeling motivated, or when we are in the right mood, or when people are acting in such a way that makes us want to help and love them.

That is why it’s called sacrifice.

We love when it’s hard; we give when it hurts the most; we make time when there is no time; we treat others not according to what they “deserve,” but unconditionally so.

We are so prone to slip when religion becomes a routine, and we begin to do things without first knowing and being content with Jesus alone. When our eyes turn from Jesus, the “why,” and onto our own preferences in life, this is when we so easily forget that it’s actually not about us at all. But it’s when we are viewing life through the correct lens that we are able to see that sacrificing on behalf of others is sacrificing on behalf of Jesus – in response to all he endured for our sinful, wretched sake.

And this changes everything.

He doesn’t need anything we could give, and our giving will never earn our salvation or right standing with him.. that was finished on the cross. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Endlessly. But when, by the grace of his spirit, we are able to grasp the truth of the gospel, and the beautiful injustice of a perfect man dying such a torturous death so that such wretched sinners as ourselves could have communion with him at absolutely no cost, what are we then compelled to do?

 

Alex Hanson

Wife to Nate, mommy to Lucy.

 

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