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Life is the light of men
The church of God needs men and women who are thoroughly permeated with the “Light of Life”–those who are led by the Spirit throughout their lives.
Why did God create us? Why were we born? Was it to eat, drink and have fun? Was it to gathertreasures? Why did He send His Son? Was it so we could become nice, religious people? Aren’t there already enough people like that in this world?
Christianity–for this life and the life to come
God has created us as living individuals with a free will. He has given us tests so that we might have the opportunity to personally choose whom we want to serve, be it God or our own. The mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace. God lets us know what His will is, but at the same time the flesh also makes its will and demands known. We are free to choose whom we will serve. God has prepared all things so wisely and has placed the choice in our own hands. We see what most people choose: they consistently choose to satisfy the flesh. They begin doing so as little children and continue until they die. Few choose to follow the mind and leading of the Spirit, which is so completely contrary to the flesh. Such a person will be misunderstood and hated by the world, and be despised by the religious world. However, he will be loved and honored by God, and understood and loved by those who follow Christ on the way of the cross.
Many people think that the gospel of Christ is something that is only pertinent when a person is on his deathbed. So they live their life, hoping they will get a chance to “get right with God” just before they die—as if God is the God of the dead, with a particular interest in those wretched corpses that are worn out through all kinds of sinning. They think a person’s youth with its strength is best used to serve Satan. Vanity of vanities!! If someone finally—after years of procrastination—gets, then God has tremendous difficulty getting them to quit their sinful habits—one by one—that cling so closely. Generally, peoples’ fear of God brings them no further than dropping in now and then to some church or chapel to listen to a sermon. Like people up to their knees in mud, they cling to all their old sinful habits, grudgingly slogging along as if the Christian life is something from Satan himself. No wonder young people are afraid of this sort of Christianity and avoid it like the plague.
What does the apostle say about his Christianity? “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1. This is a goal worth striving for, one worth attaining in Christ. This Christianity suits young people exceptionally well. You don’t need to struggle your entire life to quit smoking. Cut it off with a swift sword-blow—because there are hundreds of other things in your life that also need to be cut off one by one. This is the way of, and all enemies of the cross hate it. This is also the way to strength, and young people thrive here, because they can set high goals for themselves, for this life and for the life to come.
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The way of the cross
The cross of Christ is profitable and His burden is light. The Christian life is an unshakable, fulfilling and genuine life. If you want to find trustworthy, reliable people, look for them on the way of the cross. Talking about the cross is not the cross; it is just chitchat. You find the cross by living a life of self-denial. Life is to be our doctrine, and the doctrine our life. There are artists who are very gifted, yet they live immoral lives. There are also gifted preachers who have no idea what the cross of Christ really is—in spirit and truth. Gifts are not life itself; they are talents and abilities which can be used whether one lives according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. If you want a future and a hope, then follow Christ. Don’t just sit there sleeping in some meeting hall. Don’t believe that living a comfortable, religious life is Christianity. The obedience of faith is the only thing that has true and lasting value. Nothing else is worth considering.
By God’s grace we have preached the cross to young people—the preaching which older Christians avoid. [...] Youth are not interested in being flattered like older people are. You can tell them exactly what you think—and that is how it should be. Happy are they who from their youth come into this blessed way of the cross!
Life is the light of men
Use the time. Convince people one by one. I have seen and heard people who considered it too insignificant to work with one individual. They wanted large congregations, yet they themselves have ended up falling away, so they were not able to help even one single person. I have also seen people who rejoice over a single soul as over a precious pearl, and they have become leaders and shepherds for many. For that matter, it is not a person’s position that makes him valuable, but rather his ability to help others to become something for God and. This is worth striving for because the others’ salvation will be our crown and reward on that Day.
The kingdom of heaven is like leaven in the dough. The dough is not completely leavened right away; that happens little by little. It is like rolling a snowball in wet snow. You do not get a big snowball at the first turn, but if you keep rolling it, the snowball becomes bigger and bigger. So be patient, because patience produces a perfect work. A person who lacks patience leaves a trail of half-finished works behind him. Such a person is of no value to God, who wants us to be perfect and complete.
Life is the light of men. No one has more light than the life he has lived—even if he has a lot of good theories. [...] The church of God needs men and women who are thoroughly permeated with the “Light of Life.”
This article has been translated from Norwegian and is a slightly abridged version of the article that was first published with the title “Livet er menneskenes lys” in the periodical Skjulte Skatter (Hidden Treasures) in May 1924.
© Copyright Stiftelsen Skjulte Skatters Forlag | ActiveChristianity
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.