Being and Becoming Christian
Christmas…a time for giving or receiving the most popular gift on the market! In a few months, that gift will be tossed aside, thrown away because it broke, tucked in the junk drawer, or stored in a closet or garage with other past popular, trendy gifts. What is popular today will be gone tomorrow to be replaced with the newest and greatest, must have item. Although fun at the time, it is forgotten tomorrow.
All the stuff we collect complicates our lives with what we do with it, where we store it, and how long we keep it. Do I have to care for it and for how long? Does it have to be kept clean and polished? All these things in our lives distract us from what Paul is saying is the most important….the world and it’s stuff is on it’s way out. We would be wise to evaluate our complications we place in our lives by taking God’s Word to heart in this counsel…
1 Corinthians 7, The Message
Don’t think I’m being harder on you than on the others. I give this same counsel in all the churches.
18-19 Were you Jewish at the time God called you? Don’t try to remove the evidence. Were you non-Jewish at the time of your call? Don’t become a Jew. Being Jewish isn’t the point. The really important thing is obeying God’s call, following his commands.
20-22 Stay where you were when God called your name. Were you a slave? Slavery is no roadblock to obeying and believing. I don’t mean you’re stuck and can’t leave. If you have a chance at freedom, go ahead and take it. I’m simply trying to point out that under your new Master you’re going to experience a marvelous freedom you would never have dreamed of. On the other hand, if you were free when Christ called you, you’ll experience a delightful “enslavement to God” you would never have dreamed of.
23-24 All of you, slave and free both, were once held hostage in a sinful society. Then a huge sum was paid out for your ransom. So please don’t, out of old habit, slip back into being or doing what everyone else tells you. Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.
25-28 The Master did not give explicit direction regarding virgins, but as one much experienced in the mercy of the Master and loyal to him all the way, you can trust my counsel. Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are. Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. But there’s certainly no sin in getting married, whether you’re a virgin or not. All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible.
29-31 I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out.
32-35 I want you to live as free of complications as possible. When you’re unmarried, you’re free to concentrate on simply pleasing the Master. Marriage involves you in all the nuts and bolts of domestic life and in wanting to please your spouse, leading to so many more demands on your attention. The time and energy that married people spend on caring for and nurturing each other, the unmarried can spend in becoming whole and holy instruments of God. I’m trying to be helpful and make it as easy as possible for you, not make things harder. All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions.
POINTS TO PONDER
–Jesus Christ, Gift of Life from God the Father, was sent to save us, mature us and guide us into God’s best for all the “whoevers”. “For God so loved the world, that all whoever believes in Him would have eternal life.” John 3:16
–I am a whoever.
–You are a whoever.
–Live a life focused with laser precision on the Master.
–Keep life simple.
Yep, I got some cleaning up to do to UNcomplicate my life…see you later!
Dear Heavenly Father, Help us daily to lay down what complicates our lives and distracts us from being at our best seeking Your best to grow in us. In Jesus Name, Amen