Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Consistent Life #JesusFollowers

A life truly worth living is the Christian life, formed humbly after the pattern of the Life of Jesus. Such a life must be one of daily battle, and conquest of self, and of all which keeps us back from holiness, without which no one can see God.

Such a life requires courage, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. The Christian life is essentially a working life, the idle Christian should change his name. Our religion is one of active work, not of dreamy contemplation.

Unfortunately, there are many among us who are playing at religion instead of working at it. There are too many idle Christians around us.

There are plenty of people who are willing to be saved, provided that they have nothing to do in the matter; and quite ready to go to Heaven, if God will carry them there without any effort on their own part. Too many of us wish to profess a religion which costs nothing, no work, no time, no money

The average so-called Christian of today wants their religion made very easy, because they are idle.

If people really believed religion is the one concern of life, and all other things but trifles in comparison, they would find no work for God too hard, no self-denial too severe, no offering to Jesus half sufficient.

Every Christian admits that the life of Christ is the model of the life which they should try to live; and that the teachings of the Gospel should be the rule of their conduct. And yet how utterly different is the life of the average professing Christian from that laid down in the Gospel!

There we read of a life dedicated to God's service, where His will is the rule and mainspring of all our actions, where the best of our time, our work, our thought, is given to doing what God would have us to do. Such is the Christian life as shown in the Gospels.

We are asked to demonstrate our faith not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to God's service, and by walking before Him in holiness and righteousness all the days of our life. And yet what do most of us give up for Him?

So much of our so-called religion is not religion at all, but merely a sort of fashion. People want to have their religious duties made easy for them, although they profess to belong to the same Church as Jesus and the first apostles. 

We can scarcely imagine Saint Peter staying away from God's House because it rained. We can scarcely picture the holy women, whose praise is in the Gospel, refusing to attend a service because their clothes were not good enough, or because the service interfered with their dinner hour.

But, some may say, times are so different now, habits and customs have so changed. Yes, but the Gospel has not. Men and women change, fashions alter, but Christ does not change, nor does His Gospel alter.

If the Gospel was right in the first century, it is right in the twenty-first century. Either we believe what our Lord says in his Gospel, or not; if we do believe, how can we reconcile the life of the average Christian with that teaching?

People will read about Christ, talk about Christ, sing about Christ, preach about Christ, anything but live like Christ.

The one object of a true life is to follow the example of Jesus every day, and everywhere, in our work, in our words, in our dealings with our fellow human beings. We should look on the example of Jesus as living, and as set forth not in a dead letter, but in a living Gospel.

You can choose the Gospel according to selfishness, or the gospel according to pride, or according to money, but it will not be the Gospel according to God, and it will not show you the way to Heaven.

Try to make your life in keeping with the teaching of Jesus' Gospel. Let your work be such that you can pray about it without blasphemy. Let it be of such a sort that you need not fear to know that it is noted in God's book. 

Let us be honest, and say either, “This Gospel is not for us, I cannot live the life laid down by it, and I do not wish to live it,” or let us resolve, by God's help, to lead a more consistent life, to make the Will of God, as revealed by His Son, the guide of our every act, so that we may say with truth, "Master, I will follow You, wherever you go.”

(Adapted from a sermon by Rev. H.J. Wilmot Buxton, 1882)

No comments:

Post a Comment