7 02 2014

Why do you do what you do as a Christian? Is your main goal in living loving God or serving yourself? Be careful to not answer too quickly. The Good News of the Scriptures compels us to do what we do not to achieve something that with lots of blood, sweat and tears we can win on our own. Apart from God’s grace we can’t do a thing! We as Christians should now live and move and breathe because we know that God has already blessed us by giving us everything we need through the relationship we have with Jesus Christ! (Rom 8:32).

The legendary Preacher, Charles Spurgeon, understood the difference between Religion and the Gospel when he told the tale of “The King, the Carrot, and the Horse.”
“Once upon a time there was a gardener who grew an enormous carrot. He took it to his king and said, “My lord, this is the greatest carrot I’ve ever grown or ever will grow; therefore, I want to present it to you as a token of my love and respect for you.” The king was touched and discerned the man’s heart, so as he turned to go, the king said, “Wait! You are clearly a good steward of the earth. I own a plot of land right next to yours. I want to give it to you freely as a gift, so you can garden it all.” The gardener was amazed and delighted and went home rejoicing.
But there was also a nobleman at the king’s court who overheard all this, and he said, “My! If that is what you get for a carrot, what if you gave the king something better?” The next day the nobleman came before the king, and he was leading a handsome black stallion. He bowed low and said, “My lord, I breed horses, and this is the greatest horse I’ve ever bred or ever will; therefore, I want to present it to you as a token of my love and respect for you.” But the king discerned his heart and said, “Thank you,” and took the horse and simply dismissed him. The nobleman was perplexed, so the king said, “Let me explain. That gardener was giving me the carrot, but you were giving yourself the horse.”

Do you see what this teaches? If you know that God offers you his salvation freely, and there is nothing to do but to accept the perfect righteousness of his Son, then you can serve God just for the love of God and for the love of people (Matt 22:37-39). But if you think you are getting salvation and other blessings in return for serving God, then it is yourself you are serving and yourself you are benefiting.

Why do we serve our king, Jesus? Do we serve him because we love him, or because we love ourselves? Do we serve him because we delight in the Giver, or because we want His gifts? There is a big difference. During 2014 at The Lighthouse Church, we are emphasizing the gospel in every area of our lives and the fact that grace changes everything! But we need to be aware that religion is the default mode of the heart. If we don’t stay connected to the Lord- the old ways kick in quickly! We may read in the Bible that we are saved by grace but the message we subliminally send to others is that the good gifts from God only come from hard work! Do you obey God because you want the Lord to accept you or have you come to the place where you have experienced the grace of our loving Lord and because of that mercy- you obey? The way you answer that question marks the difference of whether you are the older brother or the younger brother in Jesus’ famous Prodigal Son Story.
The above is some of what we experienced at our January edition of Secret Church. As a matter of fact, it was so powerful- we are doing our next one on Saturday Night Feb 22nd from 6-7:30PM. If what I have shared here has stirred your heart- then be there when we gather later this month!

I am praying that this would be a year that every one of us who refer to themselves as a disciple of Jesus will be able to say without hesitation that we do what we do not so we can get our hands on the Father’s things- but so we can be with the Father! Grace changes everything! Will grace change you?



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