Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Reason For Salvation

Typically, we seek salvation for one reason; to avoid Hell. We don't want to experience that for eternity, and we're driven to make proselytes of those we care about because we don't want them to face an eternal damnation.
There are exceptions, but that's what it most commonly amounts to; fear. We fear Hell, we fear the wrath of God, we fear death, so we run to the arms of God like a child who is terrified and running to the arms of his/her Dad for comfort. I'm not saying this is a bad thing; we shouldn't want such a condemnation for anyone. We should be driven to our Father, and anything that converges us towards Him is good, even if it's fear of Hell.

But I don't want salvation for that reason.
I want my salvation to be deeper than that. I want your salvation to be deeper than that.

Salvation isn't merely being saved or rescued (by definition it is, but with some analysis it can go much farther). When we cannot save ourselves, salvation's definition alters to become submission to One with the power to save us. The Gospel holds the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). God alone has the power to distribute salvation. When we submit to His power, when we realize Him, and we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, confessing our sin and forsaking it, believing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for us and was resurrected by God on the third day; that's when we have salvation.
When we decide that, if it meant we would still face the wrath of God en force, and yet still say "not as I will, but as You will," (Matthew 26:39) that's when we have salvation epitomized. Not as a means of escape, but as a means of servitude.
Salvation is obedience to God, and loving God.

I want to believe that there's something that God put in me that could glorify Him, and that's what I want my salvation to do; bring glory to Him. Even if it didn't mean my eternal soul would be saved from Perdition, I would still want my life to reflect the beauty of salvation through Christ to God.

I want my salvation to be more than God blessing me; I want it to be me blessing God because I know that, even if I feel inadequate, I know He made me with the ability to bring honor to Him. He made me to bring honor to Him.
He made you with the ability to bring honor, glory, worship, and praise to Him.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We Are Lakes

There are things called "salt lakes", which usually consist of lakes with many inlets, and no outlets. There are also spring-fed lakes

In Galatians 5, we are given examples of two differing lifestyles: the first is living by the flesh.
"Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." (Galatians 5:19-21, ESV)
The second lifestyle is living by the Spirit.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-25, ESV)

The first example we're given is one of an obviously worldly manner. It's submission to our physical desires, living based on "me, me, me", and it is focused inwardly. It has a mentality of hoarding. It takes and stores for self.
The second is one of humility and generosity. It focuses on, contrary to the former, others and God. It holds back no goodness, and thinks of self only after thinking of others. It is an outward lifestyle.

About the lakes.
saline and hypersaline lakes (Salt Lake in Utah, the Dead Sea, etc.) have medicinal properties, but life can scarcely survive in them beyond microbes and sometimes crustaceans. These lakes and seas have such a high salt content that they will kill most plant life around them. Fish will asphyxiate in them due to the mineral and sediment content. This is the "inward" lake; the one lacking outlets.
It reflects living by the flesh, living so selfishly that your existence becomes lifeless.

Likewise, we have lakes that have outlets, distributing their minerals gently throughout the streams and rivers that flow from them in such a way that they're beneficial to living matter. The minerals don't bombard organisms to the point of overdose, but rather in moderation that allows fish and plant life to thrive in their vicinity. They supply, to quote a friend of mine, "Living waters." This is the "outward" lake.
This reflects living by the Spirit, living so selflessly that your existence becomes deathless.