"He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them."2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT
Thoughts for Today
Most people think of religion as a list of "dos and don'ts." A set of rules. Many see Christianity that way. But real Christianity is a relationship. A relationship of love with God through His son, Jesus Christ.
If you are in a loving marriage relationship, you want to make your spouse happy because of your love, not because that's the rule. If you are a parent, you are devoted to your children's well-being - not because the parenting books say that's how you should feel but because you love them.
And so should our relationship with God be. Yes, we should be devoted to him. We should obey him and serve him. We should want to accomplish his purpose for our life. But not out of a commitment to a set of rules but because of our loving devotion to him.
Consider this …
God sent his only son to suffer and die for us. Why? Certainly not because we deserved it. But because every one of us is born with a sinful nature. The Bible tells us we have all sinned. God is holy, and there can be no sin in his presence. But he loves us and wants us to spend eternity with him, and so he provided a way for that to happen. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin. What incredible love!
And when we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, he loves us, guides us strengthens us, and comforts us. How can we respond in any way but devotion to him? No longer living for ourselves but for him. That's real Christianity.
Father, words are not enough to thank you for all you have done and are doing for me. Help me to live my thanks by no longer living for myself - but for Christ. In his name . . .
These thoughts were drawn from …Authentic Living in an Artificial World by Dr. Mike Chapman. This 45-minute group study gives understanding about what it means to be real. The facilitator's guide includes reproducible group member study sheets and an audio CD designed to help facilitators prepare for each session. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a study for individuals or couples.
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