The Upside Down-ness of the Christian Life

In his First Letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul writes,

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be STEADFAST, IMMOVABLE, always EXCELLING in the work of the Lord, knowing that your TOIL is not empty in the Lord”  (AT).

The Christian lifestyle, fully realized, looks like this:

  • We are steadfast in our faith.
  • We are immovable in our hope.
  • We are always finding new ways to go above and beyond in loving God and other people (we do this at work, with our families, at church, with our friends, at school, in our personal lives–yes, even on social media).

No Christian that I’ve ever known (myself fully included) has ever perfectly lived this way. However, followers of Jesus who are growing in their faith make this their aim. They understand the upward call in Christ Jesus, and their eyes are fixed on the things that are above. It is the Christian’s heavenly perspective that colors his view of the world.

The Christian’s house is therefore upside down (by the world’s standards). The foundation of our building is above–in heaven. The rest of our house is built upon that foundation–our doctrines, our practices, with the rooms, where we live our lives, down here on earth. But the whole structure is firmly built not upon the shifting sands of culture, but upon the bedrock truth of God’s word, with Christ Himself as the cornerstone.

Sometimes, this “upside down-ness” of the Christian lifestyle puts us at odds with the society at large, whose house is very much built upon the changing values and norms of the reigning zeitgeist of the day. But we don’t hate unbelievers. Far from it! We love them–just as our King loved us while we were rebelling against Him; while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Why do we live this way? Why toil and strive to further God’s kingdom–which is invisible–knowing that it may pit us against the very people we so urgently want to love and see reconciled to God?

We do this because we know that every bead of sweat spent serving King Jesus is never wasted. The Lord sees it all. He empowers us with the Holy Spirit. And He gives meaning and success to us when we labor for Him. God the Father is gathering a people for His Son, from every people group on earth. That includes our own people group. And so we labor and strive. We move forwardimmovable in our trust that God is real, God is good, and God is saving sinners like us.

Whom is God moving you toward today? Whom does He want you to serve? Who needs to hear the Gospel–the same Gospel that saved you? Move forward in God’s will today, and may our Lord make you immovable as you move.

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