A Great Lie About the Christian Life
There is a great lie about the gospel that is common in our culture and that sometimes we, as churches and individual believers, help to promote. The fatal fabrication is this: Coming to Jesus and believing the gospel means no more fun. The Christian life is a dull life, a lesser life—a disappointing life, even. Thank God, nothing could be further from the truth!
Scripture describes God as a Father who gives good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11), and as the one who “richly provides us with everything to enjoy” and who will refuse “no good thing” to “those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). We must be clear: the testimony of Scripture does not suggest that we can do whatever we want, nor does it imply that God will give us whatever we want. It does, however, repeatedly tell us that we have a generous Father who wants His children to enjoy His many blessings.
Paul’s first letter to his protégé Timothy declares that “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5). So the Christian standard is not one of austerity or asceticism, nor consumption or consumerism. No, we are guided by God’s word to set our hopes on God and to enjoy all He gives us as good gifts from Him. This approach to life leads us to a wellspring of unending joy.
Inevitably, this revelation of our Father’s character as the great Giver and our greatest treasure will lead us to a different kind of lifestyle than those of many of our neighbors. As we learn that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35), we don’t quite keep as much to ourselves. As we realize that “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6), we don’t require the latest gadget or shiniest car to temporarily boost our happiness.
The Christian life is not drab, nor dull, nor ever pale. While our faith may lead us to forgo certain creature comforts in this life, untold riches await all who give their lives to Jesus. And what’s more, those riches in heaven stretch back from heaven to bless us now with supernatural peace and sturdy joy as we delight in good gifts from our heavenly Father’s hand. Be sure not to believe the lie that a life following Jesus gives you less than you would otherwise have enjoyed. Be sure not to promote that falsehood to those around you, either.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Thessalonians' Faith and Example
2We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly1 mentioning you in our prayers, 3remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4For we know, brothers2 loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. 6And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 7so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 8For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. 9For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.
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