I Am Compelled (Once More)

We are compelled to “Live Deeply in Christ.”

And now, children, stay with Christ.  Live deeply in Christ.  Then we’ll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.”
1 John 2:28 (The Message)

John writes beautifully, soulfully, and with true concern about repentance, forgiveness and the Christian “way” for believers.

If browsing this Holy book (God’s breath given to us in writing) for the first time one may ask, “Who are these believers John is speaking of?” and “Who is this Christ?”  As they continue exploring the Bible, they will find the answer, because it is a living book; it speaks to the hearts of men and it guides and directs “real” lives.  It poses questions to ponder and speaks with clarity; it brings logic to naught and gives faith flesh and a heartbeat.

The quick answer: Christ is the same as God; He is God, and the salvation of mankind.
A peacemaker who rescues us (by His death on the cross) when we repent of our errors, the sin of our unbelief.  He is the “reconciler” and makes us presentable (in our new-found purity) to Father God.

The Christian is one who believes that Jesus, the son of God, is truly Christ and His death for us was real.  God is love and His people must be like Him.  To live a victorious life, we must love others as well as ourselves.

Now we’re back to the reminder to “Live deeply in Christ.”  Can I just as swiftly give directions for this?  In a word, or two… just give your “all” up to Him.  However, doing this becomes a more personal dilemma or a search for our own special need for help.  Turn again to the book that holds all answers, one scripture making clear another.

So, what do you think?  With God on our side like this, how can we lose?  If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us?  And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen?  Who would dare even to point a finger?  The One who died for us ~ who was raised to life for us! ~ is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us.  Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us?  There is no way!  Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
“They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.  We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.”
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.  I’m absolutely convinced that nothing ~ nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable ~ absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. 
Romans 8:31-39 (The Message)

Wow! This is how to live deeply in Jesus Christ!  Why don’t we put our trust in these words every single day, and live out our faith on the foundation and source of these words given to Paul?  Now that is something I don’t understand and I disappoint myself all too often by failing to do this. (Romans 7:21-25)

I am the culprit causing the “felt, experienced, and noticed” rift between me and the Father, not outside forces.  I move away from safety, love, security, etc.; most certainly not God, He is unmovable.  I am the one who retreats, and I must make the decision to draw near.
I must use my will; after all, it was given to me to bring glory to Him “who is above all names!”

As an explanation to the fresh Bible reader, the new searcher, the way I do this ~ make right my relationship with Him ~ is stay in His “Word!”  I have a God-given compulsion to do so.  I will be a victor; His word is my sword, it fights for me in dealing with the things of life: with relationships (all), distress (from any reason), times of want (there are many kinds of needs), wrong desires (many kinds of those, too).  These thoughts are scattered all through the Bible.  You will come upon directions for handling them almost on every page.

Yes, it is the living Word.  You will begin to realize this fully as you read, and the Holy Spirit opens your understanding.  And oh, “Who is the Holy Spirit?”  He is the one tugging at your heart in this very moment, and the best way I can answer is to say, “Read on…”



{Editor’s note: this article was first published in 2014.}

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