Consumer Christians

They see dividends. Get out of hell free. Get relief from guilt. Get a healing. Get relationships back in shape. Get a family friendly environment to raise the kids. Get the satisfaction of doing one’s duty. Get a prophetic fix on the future. Get abundant life.

But listen to the faith giants. Paul said that he was constrained (as if in a vise) on account of the love of Christ. Peter when challenged about his fidelity responded, “Lord where else would I go? You hold the keys.” They had met unadulterated courage, compassion, honesty and righteousness in the Master, and had made a quality decision never again to look elsewhere for the lodestar in life. They spoke of being bondservants. They delighted in passing on the Good News.

In Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, there had been a challenge to his ministry credentials. He responded with an odd sort of “bragging” in the eleventh chapter. He would glory in his infirmities, deprivations and persecutions. Inferentially he was saying that his Elder Brother was so attractive as a man’s man and leader that the setbacks seemed of little account. With every challenge he felt himself growing in the fellowship of His sufferings and in the compassion and spiritual power of Jesus. No other life-purpose could measure up.

So forget about the “getting” of this or that. Simply get Christ in increasing measure.


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