My dear friend Jim and I began our journey together this morning through the book The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me by Major W. Ian Thomas.
The goal: Reading and discussing two chapters a week … there are fifty chapters in this little devotional –style book.
The result: We just barely made it through the introduction.
I had read the intro and the first two chapters, highlighting in yellow, underlining in red, and making personal notes. Interestingly enough … most of what had spoken to Jim’s heart touched on things I had seemingly just read over … my book had no highlights … no red marks … no notes … on those passages.
Through Jim and Major Thomas, I sensed God revealing profound truths that I had simply skimmed over … so no doubt going through this together and discussing will hopefully multiply our insight as the Lord reveals and convicts us of different truths. Truly exciting!
Here is the opening sentence of the introduction.
“To be entirely honest, I know of nothing quite so boring as Christianity without Christ.”
A bit later he expands on that point with harsher yet truthful words …
“ … detaching your Christianity from Christ is to reduce it to the impotence of a dead religion, impersonal to Him and impersonal to you, just an intellectual exercise or a sentimental formula – and Christianity is neither. Christianity is Christ.”
And that impacts not only us but those who come in search of Christ.
“Countless people have stopped going to a place of worship simply because they are sick of going through the motions of dead religion. They are tired of trying to start a car on an empty tank. What a pity that there are not more people around to show them that Jesus Christ is alive.”
But there is an answer … there is a Way … no doubt the reason the first century church was known as the Way …
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”John 14:6 (NASB)
And Major Thomas touched on our greatest need in Christianity today …
“Experiencing this simplicity (of Christ as described in 2 Corinthians 11:3 bw) is the greatest need today throughout the Church worldwide. The utmost need in every ministry group, every missionary outreach, every denomination, is to rediscover the Lord Jesus Christ and the indispensability of His indwelling presence within the believer. This means encountering the risen living Lord who shares His life with us on earth on our way to heaven (NOT only in the hereafter but in the here and now! bw) … so that He may accomplish through us what He began to do in His own physical body two thousand years ago. What a fantastic privilege!”
What a fantastic privilege indeed!
May His Body be found surrendered, submitted, indwelled, obedient, loving and faithful!
May we truly become the vessels of the glorious living Lord!
All of Jesus in all of me! (definitely a topic to be expanded upon on another day …)