I remember when God saved my wife, Kim, and me in September of 1995; we were so excited about the personal benefits of our salvation! Jesus was going to give us our best life now—a better marriage, more prosperity in our business, optimal health, influential friends, and obedient children. We made the rescue Jesus had provided for us all about us, not about Him, and during the next few years we began shrinking our salvation. Does this resonate with you?
Thankfully, God did not leave us in our short-sighted self-absorption. Through a variety of grace teachers, including Steve Brown and Jerry Bridges, God graciously shifted our focus from ourselves to His Son. During that process we began to see that our redemption was about so much more than what we had imagined to be a “good” life. Jesus didn’t save us to make us good, but to make us His; and as His children we are to be more concerned about His kingdom than ours.
God not only rescues us from our sin, He rescues us from ourselves! Self-focused living was never the goal of our redemption. We are delivered from our slavery to self and circumstances so that we can focus on the One who saved us. We are set free to live a life that is bigger than our own lives. God is on a mission of “making all things new” (Revelation 21:5), and He raises us from death to life to be part of this incredible cosmic restoration process.
When we understand God’s purpose, we can begin to see beyond the constricted borders of our own little lives. We can shift our focus away from what we want to what God wants . . . from what we desire to what God desires . . . from what we love to what God loves. This is when where our salvation stops shrinking and begins stretching—through sacrificial service to God and others.
When we are wrapped up in our own lives, we utilize our time, talent, and treasure to serve ourselves and advance the cause of our own kingdom. But when we are wrapped up in the life of our Savior, we pour out our time, talent, and treasure to serve Him and advance the cause of His kingdom, regardless of the cost or circumstance. When we are living at this level, we can be assured that we are not shrinking our salvation.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!