God has blessed us with a wonderful gospel, and a great calling to be advocates for the Gospel. This calls each of us to live out our everyday lives with this understanding, this requires a full life examination. From what we do getting ready, to driving into the office or school, to the things we do at our jobs or in the classroom, to the drive home and going to bed, everything matters to God. Thus we should examine those things and determine if the way you go about your day to day reflect the Christ living in you. (Galatians 2:20)
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Recently, I related the fact that in our lives we are being watched by people and by God. This is an amplified version of a Las Vegas casino with their “millions” of cameras. People watch to see if we live lives that show evidence of transformation, to see if that “Gospel” has any effect on us, and God watches over us like a parent that just hopes and wishes his children will represent themselves honorably, and thus represent the “Gospel” in a worthy manner.
What value would the “Gospel” have if our lives are not transformed by it? Do we simply live our lives accepting the free gift without responding in a manner or attitude of thankfulness? Unfortunately, too often we allow the grace presented to us in the gospel to be accepted without even saying thank you. Dietrich Bonhoeffer calls this “cheap” grace, because through our living lives filled with sin we are taking it for granted that God loves us so abundantly that He would send Jesus, His Son, to the cross to suffer, die, and defeat death with the Resurrection. However, if our lives show signs of renewal and transformation, then we reflect that this encounter with the grace of the “Gospel” is powerful.
One of the first things we teach our children is to say “please” when asking for something, and “thank you” when receiving it. I was reminded of this when checking out at the grocery store this evening, and the clerk handed my son a roll of stickers (which are quite possibly his favorite things in the world). I prompted him to say, “thank you”, but because he was feeling shy, he didn’t say anything. In response to his lack of response I began to get a little flustered and prodded him more to show his appreciation. The clerk then said, “I can see by the way he is using the stickers that he really appreciates them.”
While I know that there are a number of issues at play here, but what if we treated the “Gospel”, and used it in a manner that showed God, and the world that we really appreciate this unmerited favor that is the gift of the “Gospel”. What if instead of simply saying “thank you”, like we are taught at a very young age, we lived changed lives in response. Isn’t that message much more powerful?