Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.
We are beginning to see that to be in Him is to be in something. That something is turning out to be Something, and the Something is turning out to be Everything.
The writer of the Fourth Gospel put it: “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). In him was life—outside Him was not-life, decay, death. Is that a religious platitude, or is it just plain fact? The plain fact is that all life is a commentary on it. Life works that way. In Him life experiences Life, out of Him life experiences death.
The marginal reading of the above verse is even more striking: “That which has been made was life in him.” “That which has been made”—all created things, man and material, when put into Him by decision and dedication become life in Him. Existence turns to life when it is put into Him by surrender. If you put yourself, your talents, your time, and your material goods into Him by dedication, then immediately they become alive—so alive that they become life itself. I have seen dead personalities turn into living personalities the moment they are put in Him. They glow, they shine, they scintillate—they exude life. Vice versa, I have seen radiant persons in Him step out of Him and in a moment they were rotting persons—decay had set in. Any talent that isn’t used for Him is buried in the earth and begins to decay.
I spoke to a group of young people who were volunteering for service abroad. They were radiant, but one girl was miserable. She confessed her dilemma: “How can I sacrifice my music to serve people abroad?” Like the rich young ruler, she went away sorrowful. She had already sacrificed her music—the music within her had died. When she took her talent and herself out of Him and put them into herself, immediately both the self and the talent died. She became a discord trying to be musical. That which had been made became death out of Him.
O Christ, Thou art life and if I turn my back on Thee I turn my back on life. I embrace pleasure and find it pain. I grasp the lurid colors of the sunset and instead I grasp the dark. Give me sense—just plain sense. Amen.
AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY
To live in Christ is just plain sense. To try to live some other way is plain nonsense.