This time of year you often hear about New Year Resolutions, yes I'm late with this thought, but it's still relevant. And generally New Year Resolutions don't stick for long, they are just a nice idea to try. Well, I began thinking about this and making mental notes about goals for this new year. Tabletalk for the month of January has a wonderful article in the back titled, "The Gospel-Driven Life", which became my spring board of thinking through resolutions for the new year. This is not a one time commitment moment of becoming Gospel-Driven. It's an everyday, every year, life consuming goal that will stick. I found it sticks stronger and stronger the more I understood the gospel. What is the gospel? Please read Ephesians 2:1-10. This passage was familiar, but until it was recently preached in a sermon at church did I understand the complete picture of the gospel. What Christ has done is outlined there in 10 verses. I began adding this reading to my daily walk with the Lord. WOW!!
The Gospel-Driven Life is the thesis of my life. I will spend the rest of my life writing the paper that supports that thesis. To clarify, writing the paper is meant by living my life driven by the gospel. After reading "The Cross Centered Life" by C.J. Mahaney, I knew my heart was changing, my life would be transformed by this gospel.
Pride is so subtle sometimes in our lives that we don't even see it. The opposite of pride is humbleness. So how do I put on humbleness and put off pride or self righteousness? By beginning to see yourself the way God does. Eph 2:1 says "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked....and were by nature children of wrath: vs3 BUT GOD being rich and mercy because of His great love for us even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved. Is it not humbling to think God loved you and chose you while you were dead in sin and made you alive unto Christ by salvation. We cannot boast in this vs9, it's completely the grace of God. If it's only by God's grace that we have salvation, then it's only by God's grace that we can live the Christian life. Where does pride fit into this? It doesn't and we can fight pride by hiding this Scripture in our hearts. The gospel shows us how pervasive pride is in our daily life. It's the transforming power of the gospel that replaces pride with humility.
Have I mentioned before how contagious joy is as the result of this power of grace? Because we can only boast in Christ alone, we cannot maintain pride in ourselves. The joy flows from the pursuit of Christ and the resulting transformation of a humbled heart.
Consider making a life resolution to be Gospel-driven and then seek out what this means. The passage mentioned is a good place to start. Get on your hands on books written about the cross, listen to music about what Christ has done. Read the lyrics to hymns. Absorb all you can, saturate your life with Christ, rest in His love for you, pray for grace each day, and know that you didn't deserve to be justified nor sanctified, as God only sanctifies those He loves, BUT GOD chose you anyway. Understanding the gospel is the key to the Christian life. It's humbling, convicting, transforming and it's my heart's desire to stir your heart to thirst for Him, to search for Him, to make Christ real in your life.
I recently came across this song and I read the words nearly every day. It speaks to my heart.
IN CHRIST ALONE my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone! - who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied –
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine –
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand!
Thank you Lord for choosing me, that I am now Yours and You are mine.
Undeserving of His grace, Jen