Many have sought to discover the minimal Christianity required of them to “still be Christian”. “How much of the world can I love, or how much of my agenda can I pursue and still be okay with God?” they ask. Or, “Just how sinful, casual, or lukewarm are we allowed to be and still be saved?” Of course the Bible isn’t much help in answering these questions. The whole tenor of Scripture disallows such thinking. On the contrary, Christ assertively commands his people to love the Triune God “with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your strength, and all of your mind” (Luke 10:27). The Apostles plead with the people of God to “abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22) and to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). There is no assistance in describing minimalism because Christianity is all about maximal, whole-life, wholehearted devotion and commitment to Christ. We must come to realize that radical Christianity is normative Christianity. Sure, we are still subject to and plagued with periodic bouts of sin and failure, but the new life Christ gives sets in every regenerate heart a passion to live fully for our Creator and King. The Holy Spirit doesn’t add to sinners a new set of ancillary interests; he radically transforms hearts to voraciously and eternally seek the glory of their Maker. So may we never be heard asking, “What can I get away with?” but instead may we perpetually ask, “How might I love God and more perfectly serve him today?”
What’s your excuse for not serving God?
In the last six months I have asked that question due to my frustration of having to be still so many hours and especially not being able to move as I want to and fro. My discipline in Christ was disconnected and I was flapping in the wind. Brothers there is no room for compromise in Jesus. The word is clear and concise on what is expected of us. Paul withstood not only the tests that came while active in his service to Christ but also the test of during captivity. We may be able to withstand the strain of most intense labor, even if coupled with severe suffering, and yet completely break down if set aside from all Christian activity and work. This would be especially true if we were forced to endure solitary confinement in a prison cell.
Even the most majestic bird, which soars higher than all others & endures the longest flights, will sink into despair when placed in a cage, where it is forced to helplessly beat its wings against its prison bars. Have you ever seen a magnificent eagle forced to languish in a small cage? With bowed head and drooping wings, it is a sad picture of sorrow of inactivity. My beloved of the brethren my countenance was in this same condition, no prayer meeting, no men’s group activity no interaction with the church family I had began to droop in my appearance and my personal prayer life was not as effective my work performance to me was substandard. I contemplated this question every waking moment of my existence in the world of rush and hurry and compromise and rental obligations and bills “How might I love God and more perfectly serve him today?
To see Paul in prison is to see another side of life. Have you noticed how he handled it? He seemed to be looking over the tops of his prison wall and over the heads of his enemies. Notice how he even signed his name to his letters—not as the prisoner of Festus, nor of Caesar, and not as a victim of the Sanhedrin, but as “ a prisoner for the Lord” ( Eph.4:1). Through it all, he saw only the hand of God at work. To him, the prison became a palace, with its corridors resounding with shouts of triumphant praise and joy.
Paul was forced from the missionary work he loved so well, He had to built a new pulpit— a new witness stand. And from his place of bondage arose some of the most encouraging and helpful ministries of Christian liberty. What precious message of light came from the dark shadow of his captivity. Brothers we all face some type of prison but keep this in mind while going through “ What’s Required”?
If God would have wanted us to live in a permissive society He would have given us Ten Suggestions and not Ten Commandments. – Zig Ziglar