Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Are you a
"Sunshine Christian?"

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

Are you a “Sunshine Christian?” Have you ever sat down and given careful consideration to the degree to which you have committed yourself to following the Lord Jesus Christ? I don’t know about you, but as someone who has walked with Jesus for over 54 years, I have largely followed an admittedly pretty easy pathway most of my Christian life. Yes, I have had some significant difficulty in my life, but more often than not, deciding to follow Jesus has not required very much of me.

As an adopted child, selfishness seems deeply imbued into the fabric of my being. With no other children in my home, and growing up in a neighborhood where almost all the other children had grown up and moved out of their homes, I spent those early, formative years of my life in a completely selfish cocoon.

I’m certain I am not alone. Selfishness seems to assail everyone to some degree. It interferes with harmony in relationships. It affects an individual’s ability to get along at work. It stirs up conflict within the home. Wanting one’s own way sows seeds of discord and disagreement.

In contrast, when we listen to the quiet nudging, or loud shouting, of the Holy Spirit—as He convicts us of our sins and reminds us of the gift God has given us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ—we can acknowledge God’s gift and start down a pathway of obedience.

We become obedient when we set aside our own selfish will and consciously choose to follow God’s will. “Not my will but Thine be done.”

The hardest thing we can do is surrender our will to God. Yet, He has sent the Holy Spirit to help us. The Paraclete comes along side us to aid us in our quest for obedience. The Apostle Paul understood this process. When he speaks of the crucifying of self and choosing to follow Christ who lives within us by the power of the Holy Spirit, he offers us the key to obedience.

Just as God has done everything to bring us salvation, He will respond to our conscious choice to follow His will and enable us to do so. He understands that following this pathway will likely be difficult for us. Our sin nature strives mightily against our desire to become obedient.

So, God shines His Light into our emotional being, our intellectual being, our spiritual being, and our physical being. That Light turns our darkness to day. He transforms us into “Sunshine Christians.”

Just as my upbringing as an adopted child imbued selfishness into the core of my being, when I acknowledged God’s claim on my life and received the gift of His salvation through the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary’s cruel cross, He breathed new life into my being. He imbued me with the very Life of Christ. I stopped being a child of darkness and became a child of the great King. I became a “Sunshine Christian.”

Have you sensed within your being a nudging to acknowledge your sins? Have you sensed a tug on your being to open your heart and your mind to the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ? If so, all you have to do is say, “Yes.” Acknowledge your sin and your need of a Savior. Give assent to the fact that God loves you and that He has chosen you before the foundation of the earth to belong to Him. Welcome Him into your life.

If you do that, He will give you Light to illuminate your pathway of obedience to Him. He will joyfully make you a “Sunshine Christian.”

If you’ve walked with God for some time, but find yourself adrift in a sea of selfishness, invite the Holy Spirit to lead you back into a place of full obedience to God’s perfect will. He will gladly take you by the hand and show you the way out of the darkness. He will return you to a place you once knew. He will restore you as a “Sunshine Christian”

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

Copyright © 2010 by Dean K. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.