December 28 I Wednesday
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” —Romans 8:11
We may have been caught up in all kinds of idolatry, but it is not enough to simply remove them from our lives. It will not address the need that lies underneath, and if they are not replaced, they will come back.
Paul emphasizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ, not just as a historical event that happened in a particular place at a particular time, but as a daily relationship with the living Christ. His message was that the void in our lives needed to be filled with truth and life, which can only be found in Jesus Christ. He writes, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” (Romans 5:10). The cross of Christ is what reconciles us to God, and brings us into a living, active relationship with Him.
To the philosophers in Athens, Paul makes three valid points in contrasting idol worship with the living Christ. Firstly, Christ is not served by human hands as if He needed anything, because it is He alone who gives life and breath. The operative word here is “give.” Idols demand from us, which will eventually exhaust and drain us as we cater to them. Many people are still trying to live off what Christ did on the cross for us 2,000 years ago. Yet, they fail to realize that Jesus is active and we depend on Him as our resource and strength in the Christian life.
Secondly, unlike idol worship, the initiative lies with Jesus. He said, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). It is a wonderful thing to be described as lost, because that places immense value on every one of us. God is seeking us and He places within our hearts unfulfilled desires so that we seek Him. In His love for us, He engineers our lives and circumstances so we reach the point where we know we need Him.
Thirdly, Paul says, “For in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In other words, our Christian lives need to be characterized by enjoying fellowship with God and spending time in His Word. Our hearts are nurtured and warmed by His presence. To neglect time alone with God will leave us vulnerable to appetites that are destructive. Whether it is materialism, egotism, eroticism, self-image or power, these will chew us up and spit us out, because we are actually looking for fellowship with God. Christ lives in us to replace all that we need with all that He is. Only Christ alone satisfies the unfulfilled desires of our hearts.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You that Your life within me is what satisfies my every need. I pray for a deeper relationship with You. Amen!