From Almighty to Aladdin

Grace For The Journey

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Far too many Christians in the contemporary church have exchanged the Almighty for Aladdin, expecting God to grant their daily wishes for wealth and health.  To them, Jesus is little more than a genie in a bottle, just waiting to be released to respond to their every desire.  They mistakenly believe God has saved them and exists in their lives to give to them the things of this world that will make their Christianity comfortable and convenient.

The problem with a comfortable and convenient Christianity is that it is, more often than not . . .

Christ-less!

But this is not what the Gospel is all about.

To be sure, God often gives His people wealth and health; these are good gifts from a good and loving God.

But these happy providences are not the primary “good”

God has ordained to give to His children.

God’s good for us may very well include storms and suffering, challenges and conflict . . . all of which accomplishes the purpose of Romans 8:29a-c – “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son . . .”

I have learned over the years that a comfortable and convenient Christianity is a poor “conformer” to the likeness of Jesus.

God did not save you to make you comfortable

And to make much of your salvation;

He saved you to conform you to Christ

So that you would make much of your Savior.

God saved you to give you . . .

“Every spiritual blessing” (Ephesians 1:3),

Not every temporal blessing.

It’s true that our Father has given most Christians in America tremendous temporal blessings.  Like manna from heaven, He rains down blessing upon blessing to His people, but those blessings are not intended to make us comfortable!

Even a cursory glance through the Bible will affirm that God was not concerned about making His children comfortable.  Where were the temporal blessings in the lives of the apostles?  All but John died a martyr’s death, and John died in exile on the Isle of Patmos.

God was not Aladdin to the apostles;

He was the Almighty,

And they knew He did not exist to give to them possessions.

The apostles were His possessions,

And they poured themselves out to expand the cause of His Kingdom.

Far from “comfortable and convenient,” Christianity for the apostles was about a sold-out commitment to Christ and His Kingdom.  They gave no thought to expanding their own little kingdom.  They understood that they had been bought at a price, and that price was the precious blood of their Savior (1 Peter 1:18-19).

They also knew their salvation was not primarily about them;

It was about the One who saved them.

They lived lives of self-sacrifice, not self-protection.

They gave no thought to what they were getting;

Tt was always and only about what they were giving in service to God,

For His glory and the good of others.

So . . . are you serving the Almighty or seeking to be served by Aladdin?

Is your greatest goal to be conformed to the likeness of Christ

Or to be comfortable in your Christianity?

Only when our greatest goal is Christlikeness will we be ready, willing, and able to exchange Aladdin for the Almighty, receiving with glad hearts whatever God delivers . . . knowing that its ultimate purpose is to make us more like Jesus.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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