Previous posts in the Live Alive series can be found here.
With a week of foundation posts under our belt, we're ready to dive into the specifics of what an alive life looks like. Here's a quick review of what we know so far about people who live alive:
- They believe in God is their Creator and the source and sustainer of life.
- They know they are God's image-bearers and were made for relationship with Him.
- They believe their biggest problem is sin (rebellion against God) and that only God can fix it.
- They believe Jesus is the Savior (God's rescue plan) and have accepted His gift of salvation.
- They have an active and dependent relationship with God based on His mercy, the work of Christ's death and resurrection, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
That's the basics of what it means to be a Christian and what I have attempted to explain in the introduction posts of this series. The bottom line is that we cannot know alive life without God, and He graciously but firmly makes and shows us the way out of our rebellion to be restored to right relationship with Him. Good news!
As I sat this morning asking the Lord, So, like, where do I go from here? He immediately "said," How about something about how alive people are serious about my love. I didn't have that on my list anywhere, but wow, what a perfect starting point for diving into the details of living alive!
|This was my favorite stamp as a kid -|
even had it on a sweatshirt!
You see, that list up there could seem very academic and cold: assent to these things, sign on the dotted line, and you're in. But let's take a look again at Ephesians 2:4-5.
"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ -- by grace you have been saved --" (emphasis mine)
Y'all, God didn't create the rescue plan begrudgingly, sending His Son into the world with a scowl on His face, arms crossed in displeasure. He sent Him in love, like a parent desperate to be reunited with a wayward child. In fact, the classic verse John 3:16 says, For God so loved the world, that He sent his only Son .... You may not like God's rules or the way He wants you to live your life, but you cannot accuse Him of false motives or cruelty.
Alive people are serious about God's love.
They are serious about believing that God is love (1 John 4:8) and that He defines love (I Corinthians 13: 4-8a). They are seriously amazed every day by the fact that God's love has been showered upon them and that they are, indeed and forever, His children. They are serious about learning to live out that love in a world that desperately needs it.
What does that look like? I believe it plays out practically in a few ways.
- Childlike Faith - Because God says He loves them and has proved it by sending Jesus, they trust Him, taking Him at His word. Every. Day.
- Confidence - Because they are no longer orphans in this world, driven constantly by fear or self-preservation, but adopted and beloved children of the Father with a new family and future, they live in peaceful soul-security.
- Compassion - With the awareness of their dependence on and confidence in God's love, they are free to extend compassion to their neighbor, no matter how different, bedraggled, or proud.
I want to be full of faith, confidence, and compassion. I want God's love to sustain and motivate me throughout all my days. I want to live alive like that. Don't you? My hope is that writing this series will encourage all of us to consider ways the Lord is calling us higher and deeper. We each have a long way to go, but we can also all look at our lives and see the fingerprints of the Lord in ways we already live more alive than we did before we He rescued us out of rebellion.
In the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:17b-19, my prayer for you, whenever your read this is: