It’s time to change the way we think about what it means to be a Christian, students at Smithville Christian High School were told at chapel this week. Instead of living FOR Jesus, try living IN Jesus instead, said Spiritual Life Director Gord Park.
As he prepared for his final chapel talk of the 2016/2017 school year, Park said he was thinking about the year’s spiritual life theme, “Living in the Light.”As he prayed, Park said he realized that the most important thing that students needed to hear was the same thing that he needed to hear: that God doesn’t need us to believe in him and that our efforts to please God are doomed.
Just as Jesus told Nicodemus about our need to be born of the Spirit and he told the Samaritan woman about having the living water IN us, we need to be convicted of the truth that Jesus is in us, Park said.
The relationship that Jesus had with God the father is the same relationship that we can have – God as the one who talks to us, leads us and guides us. Yet, we struggle so much, trying to obey the rules or please God.
And that’s the problem: those efforts are wasted. If we are trying to prove ourselves, to live FOR Jesus, to work for him or please him, we are guaranteed to fail. We will always tell lies, or be unkind, or fall short. We can never read the Bible enough or apologize enough.
“I am trying, but it’s just not working,” Park said. “I am doing good stuff, but I am tired. When it comes to being a good Christian, I quit.”
The secret is living IN Jesus and letting Jesus live in you by letting his Spirit take over.
“When you do that, you are set free from rules and measuring up. What the Spirit wants is to reveal Jesus to you in the everyday decisions of your life – who you date, where you work, what you study, how you are with your mom and dad, what you do in your private life.”
Instead of worrying about meeting a standard, all we have to do is say “thank you. Lead me on.”
Jesus is the light of the world and if we let him shine through us, we will be changed.
Park read Romans 12: 1,2 from The Message. “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it.”
Student praise team, Citizen, led worship with three songs: “Touch the Sky,” “Your Love Awakens Me,” and “Anchor.”