It’s easy to forget the reality we live in–this cosmic battle between the powers of darkness and the King of Light. There is an advancing kingdom of ransomed sinners, saved and empowered by the precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. This mighty King of ours has secured a glorious, final victory over Satan and his doomed followers–a victory that will right every wrong and restore the perfect order our hearts long for. There will be a day when God will be worshiped perfectly, and when our souls will experience the pure bliss they were created for. This is the day we strive toward and fight for.
A couple days ago my husband and I sat in a Sunday School class with some dear friends who are about to lay aside every earthly comfort, every sense of security, every promise of safety to go live among the lost. These Christ followers are humbly and bravely accepting a calling that could very easily lead to their deaths. They will enter a country covered in darkness, very much under the control of our spiritual enemy who wishes only to condemn its inhabitants to an eternity of anguish. Burdened by the call we are all given, to go and make disciples of all the nations, these dear friends will set aside all of their own desires for those of their Master. They will accept the reality of this fading life and live for the life to come, where they hope to usher in many fellow sinners covered by the blood of Christ.
In another part of the world there is a pastor who’s belief in Christ has made him an inevitable martyr at worst and a political pawn at best. Many of us have been watching and praying as the events of Pastor Nadarkhani’s imprisonment and death sentence have unfolded in Iran. We have been asking the Father to spare his life and been rightly outraged by the Iranian government’s unjustified actions toward him. It is yet one more reminder of the reality we sometimes forget we live in.
As women, wives, mothers, and homemakers, we pride ourselves on cultivating the home. We take seriously our role in creating beautiful, peaceful, and welcoming environments for our families and visitors to be blessed by. Hospitality and hard work are virtues we care deeply about as we seek to serve those around us, but to what end? Are we simply working to make people happy? To serve for service’s sake? These are nice things, but they have little eternal value if they are not ultimately aimed toward furthering the Kingdom of Christ. You and I are not exempt from waging war against the powers of darkness, we are not exempt from the call to leave everything, take up our crosses and follow Christ. Let us never forget that everything we do, the hospitality we extend, the homes we clean, the children we raise, the food we cook, the volunteer work we do, the jobs we labor at are all subject to the needs, mission, and will of our King Jesus Christ. They are all for his glory and for his people. They are all an act of love toward him and toward others.
We must challenge ourselves to not get too comfortable in these beautiful, peaceful homes we create. They are temporary gifts given to us for the use of the Kingdom. As we minister to our families, nurture our children, and extend hospitality through our homes, we do so in an effort to see Christ exalted among our communities and see sinners come to know true joy in him. Our lives must be a daily act of sacrifice in time, effort, and resources as we seek to see the nations reconciled to God. As those who have been saved from the wrath of God through the blood of Christ, as those who have been set free from the chains of death and slavery, as those who have been united to Christ, we must take seriously our call to serve the Savior in everything.
As we sat in our Sunday School class listening to our dear friends soberly explain their willingness to die if necessary to obey Christ, the weight of this mission we are all engaging in hit me. We are not all called to foreign countries as missionaries, nor are we all called to be martyrs for the sake of Christ, but we are all called to obey his will and lay down everything for his name. Yes, even in the work place, in our homes, or as we change dirty diapers, we must lay everything down for him. We are all members of this one body that is waging war against the devil. We are all seeking to set the captives free. We must all work with equal earnestness as we seek to serve our King–our victorious King. It is our complete and utter joy to do so.
All I Have Is Christ
by Jordan Kauflin
I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still
But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God’s love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You