Friday, December 25, 2015

Identity in Christ - 53 (Saints)

According to the common understanding of the word, a "saint" is a person of exceptional character. Totally kind, sacrificial, virtuous and loving.

Accoding to the definition in the original language, it could be written as "holy one." Indeed, it should be more associated with "holiness" meaning "sperated," rather than "morally excellent." That does not mean that God is not interested in moral excellence. Because he is. But moral excellence does not come from intense effort, a positive upbringing or good genes. It comes from God's grace transforming people's hearts.

A saint, a holy one, is someone separated from normal pursuits for God. Not divorced from normal pursuits. Making a living and maintaining a house are normal pursuits God wants us to pursue. But we are also invited to pursue his heart, his purposes and his practices.

So, a saint is one separated from the world in order to be joined to Christ.

• God's Perspective

A saint is one who aligns himself with God, in pursuing his purposes. We align ourselves with God and his purposes when we give allegiance to him. It is then we recognize God's way is superior to ours, we recognize our failure to live as we should,  and we choose to trust the Father, yielding our hearts and lives to connect, to serve, and to unite with him in his mission.

Everyone in God's family is a saint, not because of our superiority of life, but because of the intention and focus of our hearts.

• Living My Life

Many years ago,  a man wrote an allegorical pamphlet comparing a person's inner being with a house. The purpose of the allegory was to communicate how people try to retain control over their lives, rather than trust the Father's influence. We say, "I don't want to give up this part of my life." God says, "Let me into this room. I will clean it up,  and you will be better off. You will be happier too."

I mention this allegory because the basic factor in giving allegiance to Jesus is the realization that we are allowing Jesus into our lives, and into our world. God invaded the world with Jesus. He intends to recreate the world according to his original design. The main factor involved in his design is love. And we have agreed to this invasion,  agreed to its purpose,  agreed to its methods, and agreed to participate in the revolution.

We will not participate perfectly, but we will grow. We will see his mission better.  We will see our part better.  And we will grow,  learn how to participate better.

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