I’ve got a question maybe some of you have thought about. If we live a life filled with the devil’s attempt to have our souls reside with him, once you claim your salvation, how should you live your life? Once you’ve given your life to Christ, then really, how should you live it? I mean we’re not supposed to be able to earn our way into God’s presence on our own. His grace and Christ’s death basically took care of that for us. Now whether you consider yourself a Baby Christian or one of the mature kind, asking questions about faith and salvation, to me, are very necessary to living the “High Life.” So since faith without works is supposed to be bogus, and simple faith won’t get you into the kingdom, then how should you approach this daily living thing?

Now at this stage of my life, I believe every Christian comes to understand that he or she should ultimately live a life that honors God, whatever that means to them. You can use Jesus’ life as a kind of guide, as impossible as that might seem. However, “Each one should use whatever gift he has to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10. You mean to tell me that I can “administer God’s grace” based on the gift given to me by Him? Now that’s an awesome thought; one that requires you to take ownership of your faith, your actions and indeed your soul. They say a person treats better something he owns versus something he rents. Hence, to take ownership of one’s salvation requires a different approach to life than, say someone, who goes through the motions of life abdicating any responsibility for where he or she will spend eternity. That’s just being reckless.

Christians throughout history have been persecuted for living lives committed to love, mercy and a quest for justice. You wouldn’t think that to be the case. But it is. “He showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8. Okay so here is the answer to my question. God says, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:31-32. It sounds simple but we all know it’s not quite that easy. But it is clear. At times it can be downright dangerous to publicly claim and then live your faith. However, we don’t have the excuse to dismiss this and instead, live a life of gossip, revenge, pride, worry and selfishness. It just doesn’t work that way for us. It should be okay to turn the other cheek, give the benefit of the doubt and respect another human being’s right to be different. Apparently that’s part of God’s purpose for all of us. “Be on guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:13-14. That’s the goal. That’s how you live your life.

But allow me to caution you about the renters. They have a marvelous way of convincing you that taking care of your own soul is unimportant. Building maintenance, the janitor will come along later and clean up the mess. The truth is you’re your own land lord and it’s your house. Keep it in order. Then you can receive guests at any time knowing that by being true to yourself, you can be true to them. It’s God gift to you. May He bless and keep you always.

(Photo Credit: Courtesy of James Washington)