Living the Christian life is a particularly daunting task when one looks back upon the history of the church and examines the lives of others who loved and devoted their lives to the Lord. Of course, one looks to (or ought to look to) Christ and how every breath he breathed he breathed to the glory of his Father. Then one can look upon the countless and unnamed martyrs who confessed Christ as Lord and denounced heresy and were thus burned at the stake, drowned, shot five times in the stomach and left for dead on the street, sawed and hacked into pieces, and on and on. Then one could look at those such as John Calvin, John Gill, and Jonathan Edwards who wrote tens of thousands of pages a piece, two of whom, Calvin and Gill, both wrote systematic theologies and commentaries on the whole Bible, and Edwards who still wrote more. These wrote all that they contributed to the Faith, with two of them, Calvin and Edwards, dying at age fifty-five. All of these, from Christ to Edwards, were not idle men and were busy about the glory of the Father.
All these lived their lives as though they were dying men. Fast-forward to today in America, Christians live as though they are going to live forever on this earth. Children remain children until they are thirty years old while adults work and work and invest and save for the plethora of years that they plan to have after age sixty-five. The result of all this being that Christians today who live eighty and ninety years accomplish a miniscule fraction of that which others in our past have accomplished in fifty and sixty years of life, stemming from our delusion of immortality and their acceptance of their mortality and their great zeal for God channeled through Truth.
All this is to say, do not look chiefly upon modern, American Christians for your inspiration, for they will inspire you to be like them. Instead, look upon Christ, the Author and Finisher or our faith, and then look upon the men in church history who looked upon Christ in this way and demonstrated it with their lives.
Categories: Quick Thoughts