Devotion: In-With-For Christ

“I had left my job at Lawrenceville to be a full-time writer in New York, and it was that fall with my third novel failing to come to life for me, that in some senes my life itself started to come to life for me — the possibility, at least of a life in Christ, with Christ, & on some fine day conceivably even a life for Christ, would find somewhere in myself courage enough, faith enough, craziness & grace enough, to undertake the living of it.”

Frederick Buechner, Now and Then

I was heading to New Jersey to begin seminary when I read Frederick Buechner’s story about leaving New Jersey to live a “a life in Christ, with Christ, & on some fine day conceivably even a life for Christ.” This wonderful phrase has been a helpful way for me to understand my own conversion story and to see how our relationship with Christ matures.

Our spiritual lives begin when we accept our new identity in Christ, which calls us to spend our days with Christ, in order to strive every day to live for Christ.

In Christ:

Question to consider: Is your identity rooted in yourself, your job title, your last name, your instagram follower count? Or is it found in Christ? When you meet someone new, does your identity as Christ-follower come up?

Scripture: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Action Step: Pray

God, grant me the Serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time,
accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.

Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

With Christ

Question to consider: Do you spend time with Christ? Do you carve out intentional, daily moments to read His Word for you? Do you seek solitude time in order to be in His presence?

Scripture: “Remain (abide, dwell) in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)

Action Step: Regular engagement of Scripture

For Christ:

Question to consider: What are you living for? Is your daily drive seeking to improve your status or climb yourself down the ladder to draw closer to those you can serve? Whose life story breaks your heart? How can you help them?

Scripture: “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)

Action Step: Sacrificially Serve someone today (note the word sacrificial – it means it should cost you something/it should “hurt”)

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