UCAN sharing: Carpe diem God’s way
Scripture: Matt. 5:14-16, Lk. 6:27-36
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 1 Jn. 4:7
The expression Carpe Diem is often seen on t-shirts and posters and it has come to represent how much of world today sees life. In its simplest translation it means to “Seize the day.” This has been used in our modern culture to promote a lifestyle that pushes aside restraint and allows for spontaneous behavior giving little thought about the future. This kind of reckless behavior often results in negative consequences. Yet this spirit is commonly seen in much of the marketing we see. This kind of carnality can lead an inattentive Christian astray. God calls us to live a far better life by using the time we have here in this life to learn to love like God loves. By giving ourselves to God’s way we grow and abound in His Spirit. We are able to forgive and show grace in all situations and by doing so we make an eternal impact on those around us. We can choose to seize the day but do so in God’s way that brings life to us and all those around us.
The world around us has a way of promoting a life that emphasizes the “Me”. Everyday should be about us and how we get what we want. Observe adverts and how they show beautiful people enjoying life with their favorite drink or person at a wonderful place that is perfect. It is all about us and how we enjoy the life here and now. In all this the emphasis is on us and what we want. Selfishness is one of the key characteristics of the world. This why people have no problem standing in line for hours to buy the latest mobile phone or pay high prices to wear certain clothes brands. What we all fail to see is that all these things are temporary and meaningless. It will all pass away and there is little true value in this investment. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.1 Jn 2:17
If we allow ourselves to be led by the things of this world we miss the opportunities God provides for us to show the world who he is and what his love is like. When a Christian’s life is not grounded in Christ they are poorly equipped to respond to life’s pressures in the way God wants us to. As we allow the world to be the greater part of us we fail to let God’s grace work effectively in our lives. As a result we slow down the maturing process and when life troubles come we don’t have the needed power from God. We respond just like any other person and suffer through the troubles without being able to overcome. The world looks at us and sees nothing that motivates them to turn to Christ. All the while the worldly Christian is weigh down and is far from the true life God has for them.
Man’s life is limited and so are his opportunities to choose to love in God’s way. God has poured out his grace so that man can change and live but we must turn to God with all our heart (Joel 2:28-29). The grace that God has given us is left unused while we continue to struggle with our flesh. God has given all we need to walk this world reflecting Him in all ways but if we don’t receive and live by the grace, changing to be like Him then the world won’t see Him in us.
God simply out of love for man has chosen to make men part of his family. This is such a high honor that it requires that we stop and think about this. Angels live in God’s presence all the time. They serve him and see how great He is and are blessed as they do his will but they will never be His children. They will never be adopted and have the same access as we do. They will forever remain servants but God gives man the opportunity to be part of who He is. This opens the door to a far higher life than we can imagine. In God’s kingdom there exists none of the things that cause man so much pain and suffering. God by His grace calls man to this unimaginable life. This life comes with a condition that must be met before we can get in to the kingdom; we have to forsake this life. We have to see that it is not part of who we are any more and live as if we are already there in God’s kingdom. Like the angels we too no longer live for our own desires but our hearts must want to live to please God by doing His will. It is God’s will that we grow to love so that this dying world sees that we are His and that He is real. This is what is meant by a city on a hill. A group of people so changed that they stand out not because of how they live so differently. We become so different from this world that it is clear we are not of this world. His unconditional love flows through us to touch lives and bring an eternal hope. This is the life we are called to now.
Many Christians fail to understand that this life God calls us to, is not something we do, it is something we receive by faith. God gives us Himself; he is in us by faith by what Christ did on the cross and we become totally new people (2 Cor. 5:17). We are born not of man’s will or a family line but of God himself (Jn. 1:12-13). God does the all the work because only he can. It is He who shines not us. Far too many Christians prefer to just do rather than be in Christ. This avoid forsaking this life but this kind of labor is in vain as it is not of God. We have failed to see our need to choose daily to live in God’s presence. To be part of Him by our free will. If we don’t make this decision allowing God to be Lord and fill us with His grace then it won’t work. Think about what an amazing transformation God brings about in man simply because He wants man to be with Him. Truly God has poured out His love in such a way that anyone who chooses can be set free from their own lustful self and be born again in to God being call God’s child (1 Jn 3:1). All it takes is that we choose daily to live for Him..
This life that God calls us to is like nothing found here on earth because it doesn’t come from earth it comes from God. Christians who have it behave in ways that the natural man can’t understand. Hated and harmed we forgive, persecuted we bless, oppress we rise. It leaves self behind choosing rather to love and give then take just as God showed us through His Son (Jn 3:16). It is a full dynamic life lived to please the one who is the source of it. We live in intimacy with our God growing to know Him and his heart. Are there trials and struggles yes but we are never alone or without. His love provides all we need to overcome and abound.
Life can be lived for ourselves or God. If it is for God then God must lead and we give our lives to Him. Only a person who makes this decision in a committed way will experience the depth of God’s love now. A person must meditate on this and choose. God awaits. Take time today before you waste more life and count the cost and choose to live for God. Then every day will be seized, filled and lived to the fullest.