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Enjoy Life and Be a Light // by Marialicia Coates

By July 9, 2016Leadership

Just the other day, I heard someone say, “I want to enjoy the life God has given me.” I’ve heard so many people say this lately that it almost scares me to hear it again. Trust me, I want to enjoy the life God has given me as well; but, I believe that when we are connected to The Source of Life, we will have abundant life that we can enjoy to the fullest. I believe with all of my heart that when we find Jesus, we find life. I need to clarify that I said, “When we find Jesus” – Jesus and Jesus alone. I am not talking about finding a religion, a church, a list of do’s and don’ts or even a ministry that helps the groups of people you feel called to. No. Life comes from the Giver of life. Abundant life comes only from Christ.


 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10 (NIV)


When we are connected to The Source of life, joy is evident. I say joy because joy is that unshakeable state of peace mixed with trust and passion, that no matter what is happening in your life, you are sure your life is and will be beautiful. It is not happiness, because happiness is just an emotion that can come and go depending on circumstances. A person who has a close relationship with Jesus will walk in joy, which means that they will enjoy life more than anyone out there that does not walk with Him. It is a life full of adventure, love, joy, peace, rest, passion, faith, and excitement! It’s a life that lives beyond the natural. So why are some of us Christians deciding to “enjoy life” by focusing on the natural “pleasures” of life and justifying it by saying that you want to prove to people that being a Christian is not boring? People! We are losing focus here!

There is a responsibility that has been given to us to disciple others. Jesus was not joking when He spoke His last words before ascending to Heaven. There’s a weight on those words:


18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28: 18-20 (NLT)


To disciple does not mean to follow a system, to control peoples’ lives, to set up a counseling schedule, or to have a small group. To disciple means to do life with others, to invite people into your life and teach them how to deepen their relationship with God, not just through words, but by living a life that inspires others to come closer to Jesus. By no means am I saying that we need to be perfect to be able to disciple and teach others, but we must know that we will be held to a higher standard. If you don’t believe me, read James 3, or please let me just give you the best reference:


You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)


Notice how these famous verses use a metaphor of light to talk about your good deeds, your actions, your life.   Again, I am not talking about being perfect or being fake in order to set a good example, but I’m talking about a life that is focused on Christ and the things from above.


So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from hisperspective. 3-4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

                                             Colossians 3:1-4 (MSG)


I love how The Message version says, “He is your life, When Christ (your real life, REMEMBER?) shows up again…” I feel like that line nails what I’m talking about. Many Christians have forgotten that to live in Christ is to die to self and live in Him (which is not boring by the way) – it’s amazing and fun! It’s a life full of risks worth taking, because it is a life of faith. It is a life where love is the main component, and trust me, when someone feels loved, everything is well.  The problem is that many Christians have not received a revelation of the love of God.  When you don’t understand the love of God, you feel unfulfilled, so you go out trying to look for earthly things to fill that gap. You don’t really understand what it is to enjoy that Zoe life that God gives, because you feel like you are not a part of the “party” that the world offers. So now there are a ton of believers who say that we need to become a part of that “party” to show others that we love them and Jesus, but do not condemn them. Are you serious? So what happened to all the “lets be a light” “die to yourself and your earthly desires”? Where did those verses go missing in the Bible? Please, lets be careful with what we are saying and believing. We must remember that people will look for hope in us, but if all we have to show them is that we run to the same things they run to when they feel hopeless, then are we leading them to freedom or back to chains?

So, this is my conclusion. If you want to live a life that follows Jesus’ words, disciple. To disciple, live a life connected to The Source of Life, which is Jesus. He will make you live the best life you could ever dream or imagine. He will give you an abundant life that you can live to the fullest! And while you are enjoying that full life, let others tag along and be inspired!

 

 

 

Featured photo by Vanessa Schmidt

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