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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Higher Standard of Living For a Higher Calling

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


You have probably heard these words spoken somewhere along the road of life. “… to whom much is given, much will be required…” You may or may not have known that these are words are from Luke chapter 12:48

If you are a Christian, you are because you made a choice and decision to receive Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. The moment you made that decision, the opportunity for your life to take a radical change in direction happened. Whether that radical change happened or not was and still is up to you.

When you made the to decision to accept Jesus Christ into your heart, a miracle happened. You were born againnot from your mother's womb, but spiritually by God. Through Jesus, God immediately reconciled you to Himself. He washed your sins away, filled you with His Holy Spirit, and your eyes were instantly opened to begin to see Bible scripture more clearly and to see life through His eyes. That launched the ultimate opportunity for change within you. To the degree that you pursue God is the degree you experience change. At no time does God usurp your will or make you do anything! He is there and waiting for you to call upon Him to help you learn of His ways and receive His influence upon your heart and life. Helping you grow and mature so that you can help others is His will for your life. It is a higher standard God is calling you to. Will you answer that call?
The moment you become a Christian, you receive something greater than any gift ever given to mankindthe gift and privilege of intimately fellowshipping with God. If that wasn't enough, you've been given the promise of eternal life. If that wasn't enough, you've been given precious promises of protection, provision, wisdom and help from God.  And if that isn't enough, you've been given God’s love and power to transform your thinking, your character, and how you walk out life. But even more importantly, you are given the ministry of being able to touch others with God’s love. You've been made ministers of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 (TLB) puts it like this: "When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him."

Luke 12:48 (TLB) says, "...Much is required from those to whom much is given, for their responsibility is greater." Those words made me think about the privilege of being a Christian and the responsibility to step up to the calling. I could see God was calling Christians to live life by a higher standard for the sake of those around them. This mean that I'd have to pursue God and lean on Him to make the changes to accommodate that higher standard required of me for the sake of others.

As a Christian, God gives us boundaries for living but not the law of the Old Testament. He says there is a higher law. It’s called the royal law of love. It transcends laws because it’s not about What can I get away with? It’s about From a position of love and caring, how can I best live my life God’s way to be a light and example and blessing to others? It’s a selfless lifestyle motivated by lovenot personal selfishness and self-indulgence. James 2:8 NIV says, “If you really keep the royal law... you are doing right.”

Over the years, I have found that there has been much I do and don’t do because of the example it sets for others. Should I really be concerned about that? Well in examining that question I think of 1 Corinthians 10:24 (NLT) "Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others." Most people don't think that way but God is asking you to think that way. He is asking you to live a higher standard so that others will see Jesus in you that the seed of His love may be planted in them! It's the greatest life you can live! It's a higher standard of living for a higher calling!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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