Live the Dash

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. Exodus 9:16

 

“Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash.” (Linda Ellis)

Obviously this is talking about a person’s date of birth and date of death, with a dash in middle.

The dash represents far more about a person than either of the dates.

At a recent event, we heard a speaker who gave the gospel at least two times in a twenty minute talk. Both times his emphasis was on Christ’s death on the cross as a way to heaven. “Just believe on the Lord, and his forgiveness of your sins, so that you will be in heaven with Jesus.”

Though I was happy for Christ to be exalted, and for those who did not know Him to be invited into a saving knowledge of Him, something was missing. As we talked about it afterwards I realized that what was missing was the “Christ living in me” and the faithful living of  “the life we now live in the flesh” (Galatians 2:20).

“The life we now live” can be the abundant life (right here on earth) that Jesus promises to those who trust Him (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Ephesians 2:8-10 tell us that we are saved only by faith, but also clearly points out that God has works for each one of us to do while we are here. Verse 10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

An invitation to heaven that does not include the joyous hope of a life with meaning and works, is not as attractive as it could be. People are feeling purposeless. The world spends a lot of time in front of some electronic device, seeking relationships and meaning.

Neither are there.

God has work to be done (not to be saved, but after we’re saved. He told us to take dominion over the earth. He said there would be a constant increase of His government. He said that he has all authority and then said, “Go and make disciples.” He tells us that loving Him means loving our neighbors.

A kingdom to grow, a Church to serve, and ministry to our communities. The biggest question for the new Christian  should be, “Where do I start?”

Perhaps you are one who heard such a simple invitation to have faith in Jesus so you can go to heaven. You might have even asked, “Is it really that easy?”

Responding to an invitation is easy – but it’s not fulfilling. God doesn’t promise easy, He promises we can have the “fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

Living a life of faith is what brings God’s favor and the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, that make life full and abundant here.

Then, when the time God has determined comes and the dash is done, Heaven.

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