Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Big Living

**Tuesday's devotional from our revival prep packet. **

Read Philippians 1:12 - 26.

"For I live in eager expectation and hope that I will never do anything that causes me shame, but that I will always be bold for Christ, whether I live or die." Philippian 1:20 NLT

Paul's passion for the spread of the Gospel is rarely more evident in his writings than in this passage. And that same passion should be an integral part of all our lives. But, too often, it is not. Ever wonder why that is? What happens between the sermon on Sunday morning when we are ignited and ready to move mountains fo the sake of Christ adn Sunday night when we find ourselves dreading the week ahead?

What happens is simply this ... LIFE! Life happens and we forget that very compelling part of verse 21 - "to live is Christ." What would happen in your home, at your job, in your relationships if you lived all day, as the New Living Translation says in verse 22, in "fruitful service for Christ"? And, the bigger question is, why don't we even consider that we can actually do this? Again, the simple answer is life.

Too often, as Christians, we are caught up in a drab, colorless existance. We focus on the tasks at hand each day and fail to recognize the wonder of God at work in, through, and around us. Christ calls us into life "to the full" (John 10:10, NIV). Full, overflowing, BIG life! And yet, we live in smallness. A conference speaker once said that Christians should be the most joyful, victorious people in any room because we always have reason celebrate.

One commentator said of this passage, "Once can scarely miss the focus of Paul's concern, here and always: Christ and the gospel." What about us? What would be said of our focus an concern? Our goal must be to point others to Christ in all things, at all times. We mut live in the reality of "life to the full" and show a lost and dying world the BIG life that Christ offers to all of us. We are called to be bold for Christ not just in our words but in the way we live. To sum up, we hear from the Gospel of Matthew this call to big living - "in the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may SEE your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven" (5:16, NIV, emphasis added).

The goal for today is EXAMINATION. What do other see in your life? Our lives should be living examples of the grace and mercy of God. There must be a boldness in how we live that reflects the passionate love of Christ for each of us. Do you live big? Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you to see yourself as others see you. We must learn to desire to look like Christ and be willing to lay aside those things that keep us in our small worlds and move into the enormity of all God has for us.

Lord, teach me to LIVE BIG for You! I get caught up in the smallness of my life and fail to see the bigness of all that is around me. I want tht big life in You.

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