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When I ponder “how I am living for God,” I tend to grow anxious and uncertain.
I then wonder in which ways I fail Him. How do I need to change? In which ways should I be doing more?
But it’s the wrong question to consider.
And it’s not the message of the cross of Christ. The right question to keep constantly before me is “am I living from God?” (Thank you, Quinton Dodson, for this insight!) Immediately my spirit begins to settle and I find myself at rest. I grow thankful for the living-giving death that Jesus went through on my behalf and realize that all things are possible through Him.
Kids growing up in Christian homes can easily miss the deeper message of Easter.
They know the facts about the story but do they get the life-giving-life-changing truth that Jesus died in order to give us life and to give us life abundantly? Like Jesus, they must learn to sincerely pray, “not as I will but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39) They too must die to self so that the life of Christ will take over.
And they must also learn to die to self-reliance, the most common blindspot I see in Christian homes and schools.
Out of a sincere desire to help our kids grow responsible, we easily fall prey to teaching them lessons that promote self-reliance rather than a death to self. Kids who leave home with moralism as their lens, instead of the true gospel message, are at great risk for walking away from their beliefs all together. Moralism has no power to change the heart. Rather it wears a person out over time.
Al Molner said this in his article titled Moralism Is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think It Is): “Far too many believers and their churches succumb to the logic of moralism and reduce the Gospel to a message of moral improvement. In other words, we communicate to lost persons the message that what God desires for them and demands of them is to get their lives straight.”
This very deception snared me for a very long time.
It still trips me up from time to time. I know the warning sign – a growing sense of anxiety which begins to make my life feel overwhelming. The truth is that I will never be enough in my own strength – or relying on my own wisdom. When I rely on myself, as hard as I try, my life falls short, not only of the righteousness of God, but even of my own expectations.
I need Christ in me – not a stronger me in me.
Easter is about death – dying to self and dying to self-reliance.
Easter is about resurrection – allowing His life to flow in me and through me instead.
Easter is about decrease. I must decrease.
Easter is about increase. He must increase.
The message of Easter resurrects hope and joy and calms our anxious hearts. We don’t need to walk alone, or in fear, on this treadmill called life. Rather we can run our race restfully knowing that He walks with us and His strength in us will never run out.
This is the truth that will draw your children to the cross – and keep them there!
Scripture to ponder and discuss with your children
When we learn to live from Him, the waters of life never run dry.
Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37–38).
By His death, Jesus ushered in the New Covenant that allows us to live from Him.
“…the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to His saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1: 26