Shrink wrap is a type of plastic that shrinks when heated. When it shrinks, it forms to the shape of the item it is covering. Shrink wrap is used to package or protect items that range in size from a bar of soap to buildings. You’ve undoubtedly discovered that shrink wrap can make it very difficult to open your new CD or DVD. It certainly delivers on its promise of protecting the item it is wrapped around!
Shrink wrap is a very useful product today; a shrink-wrapped witness is not! A shrink-wrapped witness is a witness that has shrunk under the heat and pressure of daily living. The more you shrink, the smaller your witness becomes. A shrink-wrapped existence is living for nothing bigger than yourself . . .
- Your goals
- Your dreams
- Your desires
- Your vision
- Your advancement
- Your pleasure
A shrink-wrapped witness for the Christian is characterized by living with one foot in the world and one foot in the Word. And when forced to choose, these double-minded Christians always go the way of the world. They settle for living a life of mediocrity rather than a living a life of mastery by living for the Master. Their faith commitments are fine . . . just as long as there is no significant cost to keeping them. In the shrink-wrapped kingdom of self, there is little room for glorifying God and absolutely no room for seeking the good of others. It is shrinking the size of your life down to the size of your life.
But this is not for you! God has called you to live large, and living large means living for the Lord. We have been made by God for God, and our lives are to be marked by advancing the cause of His kingdom, not our own. Take a look at it from the psalmist’s perspective:
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5)
Sharpen your focus on verse 3—“It is he who made us, and we are his.” God made us to praise and worship Him. “What is the chief and highest end of man?” the Westminster Confession of Faith asks. And the answer: “Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.” Our lives are to be lived in the light of eternity, where every aspect of our story intersects with His Story. This is the place where our lives are driven by His love, His power, His glory, and His will. We are, as the psalmist said, “the sheep of his pasture” and we are to follow the Good Shepherd wherever He leads, trusting in His faithfulness, regardless of the cost or circumstance . . . even the path is difficult or it does not make sense to us.
CS Lewis wrote, “If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were those who thought most of the next.” Only the Gospel, deeply infused into the marrow of our bones, can free us to live such an incredible existence for the glory of God, an existence where a shrink-wrapped witness is as far as the east is from the west.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!