Glorious Living

Hi everyone, Rob here.

I spoke on Ephesians 1 on Sunday and this short passage grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. here it is the Message paraphrase:martinique-206916_640

It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

Life in Christ gives us identity and purpose. These are the great longings of the human heart. We all want to know who we are and what we are for. What I really love about this passage though is that there is a bigger story. Christ has an overall purpose that he is working out in everything and everyone. Here’s the exciting part: for us to play our part in the bigger story we are asked to step into God’s design on us for glorious living. God wants us to live gloriously in Christ and by doing so we help fulfil his purposes for everything and everyone. Does that sound like a good deal or what???

While it sounds like a good deal it doesn’t sound like our lives. How many of us can look at our lives and say that we are living gloriously? We may be living well, we may be happy most of the time but living gloriously sounds like a whole other level to me. What does living gloriously look like? I’m sure we’d all have different answers but at the heart of it is the idea that our lives would reflect the glory of God. There’s a quote from St Irenaeus, a bishop who lived in the 2nd century that says this:

The glory of God is man fully alive.

This then takes us back to Romans 6 where Paul writes that we are alive to God because of Christ.

When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did.

So glorious living comes back to giving our lives over to Jesus every day. It comes back to opening our hearts up to Christ because it’s in him we have life. It comes back to surrendering our fears and our hopes; our successes and our failures; our sins and our holy moments into his hands. When we do that we are letting go of our desire to be the lord of our own lives and coming alive to our hearts truest desire; to be children of God and friends of Jesus.

My wife, Kiley, always knows when I’m not surrendered. I’m slightly cranky, distant and somewhat abrupt. What’s gracious is when she says, ‘You’re not quite yourself.” It means that the true me, the real me is found in Christ. When I’m surrendered and connected with Christ the real me emerges. In him I have identity and purpose. The same is true for all of us. We live better, relate better, become more courageous, more gracious, more kind and more alive when we’re allowing Christ to fill us, lead us and strengthen us.

So take heart. Glorious living is at hand. Jesus wants to lead us into it. As we die to him and come alive to him over and over again his life emerges more clearly in us. We become people with identity and purpose and that’s worth pursuing with all of our heart.

Blessings.

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