As I sit here in front of my computer, a thought came to me: I don’t think many of us, me included, really understand the sacrifice that Christ had to endure for our lives. I say this because if we did, we would not, could not, do some of the things we do. These questions enter my mind, “how much will you pay for your life? How badly do you want to live? What is your life worth to you?” Knowing that some people feel worthless and may not value their lives as high as Christ does, I thought about my mom, and how much would I have given to have her here with me again. Then, I thought about, if given the opportunity, would I have exchanged my life for hers. I would.
After making this decision that I would have taken the place of my mother in death, I realized all the pain she endured prior to passing away. Not in her whole life even, just the last few months were hell on earth for her. She was strong, but she was racking with pain. Yet, my love for her prompts a desire in me to take her place. This is what Christ did for each and every human being on earth. Yes, He took on our sins, but He also endured the pain of torture and death. This is the torture that was mine by the nature of my being. Christ committed no sin, but I have committed many. Knowing all of what I was capable of, Christ still chose to die in my stead, in order that I could have a chance at eternal life with Him and the Father.
Just as I do with material possessions, I was so very grateful when I first accepted Christ, and I did everything with Him in mind. I stopped cursing, I stopped having pre-marital sex, and I did my level best to stop committing any and all sins. Like salvation was a shiny car, I took great care of it. I washed it, vacuumed, had the oil changed, and rotated the tires. However, as the years passed, I found myself being complacent with my gift from Christ. Sin, though still wrong, did not create the chasm of guilt it used to cause when I was first saved. I was forgetting to pray daily or even before meals, and reading a scripture daily was too taxing. Like with my car, once the new car smell wore off, I would skip an oil change here and there, washing done only when necessary, and the tires could be rotated on my next visit to the mechanic. I no longer held the car or my salvation in the same “precious gift” area of my life. I took the sacrifice of Christ for granted, erroneously resting in the grace provided.
Today, I had a wake-up call that did not come from the hotel concierge. Today, Christ has reminded me that, “17) For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18) And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? 19) Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator” (I Peter 4).
This scripture has reminded me that I need to ensure that my “house” is in order. It is time to clean the dirty dishes, to vacuum the carpeted areas, and to get the grim from the toilets and tub. Windows need to be washed, and the dust cleared. Finally, all the trash needs to be emptied. This temple that God is to abide in has to be clean in order for Him to take up residence. He may visit you, but He won’t forward His mail until your house, my house, is clean. I’ve been surviving on visits, but just like an incarcerated person, I want more than the occasional experience with Christ. I want God to take up residence within my temple. I want to live a life here on earth where He can always abide with me, so that when it is time for me to change my eternal address, I will be able to abide with Him. I don’t want Christ to be a guest in my temple, but a permanent resident. Don’t you?