Standing For Kingdom Culture Comes At A Cost
Is following Christ, in a post Christian culture worth it? I think it’s healthy to ask the question at a time when we are bombarded with the twisting of what’s good and bad in our society. What did the Apostle Paul say on this subject?
2 Timothy 4:4-6
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
I love the picture that Paul paints of living out his faith (poured out like a drink offering). He realizes his life is not his own. It’s to be poured out for others on Christ’s behalf. This flies in the face of a culture that constantly pounds the drum of self-worship. Up till a few years ago it was, “Do what makes you happy”, “Have it your way”. Now it’s “Agree with my side or you are evil”. If our lives are to be poured out for others on behalf of Lord, what does that look like and what is the cost?
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
We are called to shine, run, and be poured out like a drink offering, as we hold firm to the word of God and our reward is Christ. There it is. We won’t become like our culture, “grumbling or arguing”, if we hold firm to the word of life. It’s hard not to grumble in a culture that values negative attitudes and mistakes rudeness for intellectual depth. When I listen the rhythm of our culture, I hear hopelessness covered up with anger and self-righteous attacks. When you have no hope, you either retreat and cave or you lash out at anything that challenges your bravado.
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through these scriptures?