Are You Alive?
by Tom Goodman
January 14, 2009
Together @ 10!
We begin a new chapter in our church! On January 25 we meet for worship
at 10 a.m. Please note the new date:
some of our classes requested
an additional Sunday to prepare
for the schedule change.
How would you convince someone you're alive? How long would it take?
It took a Romanian man a year of expensive litigation, and as I read his story it made me think about our life in Christ.
When Gheroghe Stirbu tried to renew his identity card, Romanian officials told him that he was dead.
Chalk another one up to government bureaucracy: Stirbu had been confused with another man. Although Stirbu pointed out the error, the government refused to acknowledge their mistake until Stirbu won a 12 month legal claim to be declared alive.
Judges renewed his status as alive—and then charged him for the court costs! "I will of course appeal the imposition of the costs," Mr Stirbu said, "but I am already beginning to wonder whether or not I would have been better off staying dead."
When I baptize someone I recite a paraphrase of Romans 6:4--"You are buried with Christ in baptism and raised to walk in a new way of life." From the moment you committed to Christ, Scripture tells us that "God made you alive with Christ"
(Colossians 2:13) and so "count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11).
The problem is, sometimes we find ourselves in a position like Mr. Stirbu: our "aliveness" is up for question. Maybe certain habits that should have been left behind still occupy us. Or sour attitudes still flow like poison through our
veins. Maybe we can't seem to find enthusiasm for connecting with other believers. Or, given the choice between reading God's word or a night of idle web surfing, the mouse wins. Maybe we can't remember the last time we shared the
gospel with someone.
What proof could you offer that you are alive in Christ?
Don't get me wrong: no amount of behavior modification or attitude adjustment will set you right with God. It's the other way around: entering into God's grace results in a new way of life. If we have little evidence that we're alive in
Christ, the first thing we have to do is reflect on God's amazing grace to us. Every change and every commitment we make after that is just our "thank you" to God.
Find a way to express that gratitude to God today and show someone you're alive in him!
Weblog: Check out my blog, "Get Anchored." Some things to look for...
Do you know friends who would appreciate Winning Ways? Just forward this e-mail to them!
Have you subscribed to Winning Ways? You can subscribe by clicking here and following the instructions. Your e-mail address will not be sold or given away to anyone, and you can
automatically change your subscription or drop it by following the easy steps provided with each e-mail.
FRESH NEWS AT HILLCREST UPDATED WEEKLY: www.HillcrestAustin.org
LISTEN TO RECENT SERMONS: Click here
MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS TO OUR EMAIL NEWSLETTERS: Click here. If you do not have access to the web, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us of any changes you would like to make.