Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013 … Living the Kingdom Gospel Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 101

Passage of the Day: 1st John 2: 5-6 [in the context of verses 3-6] [NLT] …
3 And how can we be sure that we belong to him? … By obeying His commandments. 4 If someone says, “I belong to God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and does not live in the truth. 5But those who obey God’s word really do love Him. That is the way to know whether or not we live in Him. 6 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Christ did.  
Contextual Study of today’s passage: 1st John, Chapter 2 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Philippians 2: 5 : [Having the attitude and mind of Christ is living in HIM.] …[NLT] … 5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 

 My Journal for Today: Os Hillman in his working-man’s devotional has a rather stark observation about Christians living in this world today. Perhaps it would be best to just copy it here for my discussion …  

"When Christ came to earth, He came to bring to mankind the gospel of the Kingdom. Over the centuries, the Church has tended to emphasize only a portion of the gospel. That portion is the gospel of salvation. However, Jesus came that we might have more than just salvation. He came to give us a whole new life that was accompanied by signs, wonders, and His Spirit living in us and revealing Himself to us daily. He came so that we might walk on this earth as He did. If our lives are not reflecting the same things as Jesus' did, we must ask why?"

Okay, ... Hillman’s question is a challenge for all of us, isn’t it? The Apostle Paul declared to the Church he loved in Philippi (and to us) that they (we) need to have the mind of Christ (i.e., His attitude) in order to live as Christ desired for those whom He died on the cross to save. But as Hillman points out, most of those who call themselves “CHRISTIAN” don’t live out the complete “KINGDOM GOSPEL” Christ has provided for born-again believers. Hillman postulates three levels of “CHRISTIANS” in today’s world.

 LEVEL ONE “Christians” are those who come to Christ at a time in their lives when they need salvation and they’re ripe in humility to believe in Christ’s atoning death; and these “Christians” enter the family of God with a “bless me, Lord” mentality.

 LEVEL TWO “Christians,” according to Hillman, live in their faith only when they are in a crisis of need in their lives, pursuing their relationship with Christ only when their faith is challenged by suffering or privation. These believers live out what Hillman calls a “help me, Lord” life; and they only pursue the kingdom gospel to relieve the pains of life.

However, LEVEL THREE “Christians are those few believers (and Hillman believes they are very few in this world) who DAILY pursue (as Christ commanded in Luke 9: 23) a deep and abiding follower relationship with Christ. They pursue all that Christ died to provide for them … the real-deal of the Kingdom Gospel .. . that “abundant life” that Jesus spoke of in the red letters of John 10: 10b). And these Christians have come to understand and live in a continual pursuit of the fruit of the Spirit (you know the list in Gal. 5: 22-23).

Level Three Christians know that God came to earth to save mankind from himself and to give us much more than just a ticket to heaven. Our Lord came, died, and was raised again to glory to give us a faith ride of glory, not only in heaven, but in this life as well. Oh, that we’d all become kingdom gospel, level three, Christians from this day forward. And all we have to do is believe it, claim it, and live it.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I am Yours yesterday, today, and tomorrow; and I want it all! I want to live for You and receive all You have for me. … even when I’m being stalked by Your enemy and tested by life. I live for and with You, Lord, … in Your Kingdom today. … Amen

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