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|Good Success||NOVEMBER 15|
THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Acts 11:26.
What is the Christian life, The answer is simple enough: it is a life lived with Christ, a life abiding in Christ (John 13:4), a life rooted and built up in Him (Col. 2:7). It is a life lived in the love of God (Jude 21), a life lived by the Holy Spirit Gal. 5:16, 25), a life led by the Spirit (verse 18). Tens of thousands of Christians will tell you that it is a changed life, at life of love, joy, peace, and power to which previously they had been complete strangers. It is a life regenerated, a life made new by the power of God.
Undoubtedly we are all conscious of past failure and, quite often, of present defeat. We all have a life that we live alone; a life of thoughts that never find expression; of ambitions and resolutions that are never realized. We even have thoughts about people: envious, hostile feelings; evil imaginations cherished and gloated over; self-indulgence. God knows and sees it all. All this is our true condition before God.
To open our lives to God is basic. Otherwise we become self-deceived. Dishonesty with ourselves, a refusal to face the truth about ourselves is tantamount to closing our life to God. It is saying to Him. "I do not want these matters included in our life together. I want them kept separate. Here I intend to be on my own. I want it kept that way." Such an attitude empties our relationship with Christ of any vital meaning.
We do not make this kind of division or separation when we get married, not if we are really sincere about it. Neither should we do it with God. Furthermore, it is no use praying to God, "Keep me from sin and self today," if we insist on keeping Him out of some particular aspect of our lives.
Life with Christ means that we banish forever from our minds all reservations. He saves its to the uttermost. The uttermost goes only as far as we invite Him. This "uttermost" means that we do not have to fail. The want of unreserved openness, of trust and dependence upon Him, makes life full of failure. Let its not blame God. We limit Him.
A life of sin and self cannot be part of a life with Christ. He cane to save us from our sins. To experience this, daily surrender consecration, and commitment are necessary.
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