PSALM 105:4 – Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
THEME OF THE DAY. THE THREE “P’s” OF CHRISTIANITY. I often wonder if we sometimes make living the Christian life more difficult or complex than God intends. Oh, I am not saying it is easy. I mean there is nothing easy about these words of Jesus, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). And when it comes to this strong exhortation – Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14), who doesn’t feel the weight of its demands upon us? No, the Christian life is not easy, but that doesn’t mean it has to be complex. There is a simplicity I believe we need to recover and regularly revisit in our individual lives and churches. In fact, the Apostle Paul warned the church in Corinth about the satanic tactic of making complex what God has made simple. He wrote, “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3). So what would this simplicity look like? Again, I am not downplaying the difficult in striving to live the Christian life as God designed, but what I am emphasizing is the need for us to heed the Apostle Paul’s last words to the Corinthians – “the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Friends, the Christian life is all about the Lord Jesus. It is to be a life absorbed, consumed, and passionate about Him. This is what drove the life, gripped the mind, and shaped the heart of the Apostle Paul – But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord (Philippians 3:7-8a).
In today’s scripture, there are three simple, but profound, truths that help us keep focused on the simple Christian life – simple in its object, the Lord Jesus. I have labeled these “the three P’s of Christianity.” May they help us to simplify, not only our understanding of the Christian life, but our living of it as well.
First, the Christian life is lived seeking the PERSON of the Lord Jesus Christ – Seek the Lord. Note the Psalmist directs us first to the Person of the Lord and this points to relationship. We come to our Bible to know a Person not do a task, gain knowledge or even find comfort. We come to the Word of God to encounter and grow in knowing the God of the Word. Keep this simple. It will keep our times in the Word fresh and alive.
Next, the Christian life lived dependent on the POWER of the Lord Jesus Christ – and His strength. The moment we forget or neglect this, spiritual failure is certain. We simply cannot live a spiritual life in Christ on the flesh resources of ourselves. Such dependence makes us live daily in the portions of scripture reminding us of our union in Christ – John 15 and Romans 6. Spend a lot of time in those places. Even memorize them because we need them. They are the sources of power in Christ to live out the life He commands of us.
The final “p” of the Christian life is a seeking of the PRESENCE of the Lord Jesus – seek His presence continually. Why the emphasis here? Joy. In another Psalm, we read – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). The joy of the Lord is a gift from Him and designed to show the world where true happiness and contentment is found. Joy is one of the most powerful “tools” of evangelism. It causes the Christian to live above circumstances, not by them, and opens many opportunities to engage those outside of Christ who live by circumstances.
The Christian life is not easy, but it is not complex either. Let’s not make it so and we will be concentrating on the Lord Jesus – His Person, Power, and Presence.
PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for providing me all I need in Your Son, the Lord Jesus. Help me to live like I believe it.’”
QUOTE: “All we need to live the Christian life is Christ. His Person, power, and Presence is enough now and forever”