Monday, February 11, 2013

You're in This for Good

If I'm playing monopoly, I can quit. I can leave the board, and although all the other players might be angry, I can still quit. (Hate it when someone does that!)
If am working, I can quit. I can tell my boss that I don't want to work for him, and then walk out the door. My boss can't stop me.
If I am married to someone, and I decide to leave them, I can. It will cause huge and disastrous pain, but I can leave. I can pack my bags and go, if I want.
I am a Christian, and I can't quit that. I can pack my bags, and never come to church again, but I cant quit. I can ignore everything about God, and the Bible, but I can't quit. I made a choice to believe in Jesus Christ, and at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit entered me, and He wont leave. He won't quit.
I can pretend to live my life, but since I made that choice, it wasn't mine to live. I can return to Egypt, and all the filth that comes with it, but He won't quit.
I'm in this for good.
My life is no longer defined by me, but by Christ, who lives through me.
Although my all my friends may leave Church, I can't quit.
Although I may be rebuked several times, and feel like crap, I can't quit.
Although that person from group is So annoying, I can't quit.
Although I fall again. And again. I can't quit. I'm not doing this for me.
Pretending to quit will only make things worse. Some Christians think of going back to the world, but they don't realize they can't quit.
They are in this for good.
In fact, I sometimes need to remind myself that I can't go back, in order for me to go forward. It is because I can't go back, that I can only go forward. Go to church again, even though it's sometimes boring. Continue serving in that ministry, even though they don't appreciate you. Keep reading your Bible, even though you don't 'get' anything from it. Keep loving your parents, even though you feel they don't love you back. Keep sharing the gospel, even though no one listens. You can only go forward.
If I don't realize that my bridges are burned, I can't move on to a meaningful life. No turning back.
When someone pushes on, despite opposition, it is called perseverance. I actually wish we talked about perseverance as much as we talk about love, for example. An emotion doesn't keep someone following Christ for 50 years, but persevering does. Perseverance is realizing you're in this for good.
"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained. For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ." (Philippians 3:13-16, 18 ESV)
Paul was in this for good, and turning back wasn't even part of his world.
Some of my friends have turned away, and walk as enemies of the cross. Notice it says 'as.' Paul gives the impression that they really aren't enemies, but choose to fool themselves. They tried to quit, but someone doesn't just quit Christ. He's also in this for good.
What then is my only response?
- Jerry

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