Formations lesson for Aug- 3- Hospitality to Christ
July 16 2008 by Lamar King

Focal Passage: Matt. 25:31-46

Jesus prayed a dynamic prayer in John 17:24: "Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me ..."(NRSV).

This verse does not refer to hope in the eschatological vision of the church. Rather, this verse implies what Augustine of Hippo prayed in the fifth century: "Lord, help me to know where you are and what you are doing, that I may be there and doing that same thing."

Showing hospitality to Christ is being where He is and doing what He is doing in this life. But, it is more. A deep commitment to Jesus results in a spiritual bonding of the servant to His master. We become one with Christ as we open our lives in hospitality to Him.

Sugar, flour, oil, flavoring, salt and eggs can be stirred together, but this does not create a bond. Cake batter is a mixture of substances, but these substances have only been mixed. Bonding is caused by a chemical reaction, and chemical reactions need some kind of energy to start the bond. In cooking, the energy that bonds is heat. When heat is applied to cake batter, something new is formed. Cake batter plus heat is no longer a mixture. It is a new thing, a new substance.

When we are spiritually bonded to Christ, we become a new thing. The energy that forms this bond is the Holy Spirit, and this bonding occurs only as we open our lives to the dynamic power of the Spirit who creates something new. Many Christians miss the joy of salvation because they have accepted a spurious substitute for their unity with Christ. Christians do not want to merely "mix" with spiritual things. Christians seek to become one with their Lord.

A.W. Tozer addresses this issue: Jesus Christ has today almost no authority among the groups and people who call themselves by His name. The present position of Christ may be likened to that of a king in a limited constitutional monarchy.

The king in such a country is no more than a traditional rallying point, a pleasant symbol of unity and loyalty much like a flag or a national anthem. He is lauded, feted and supported, but his real authority is small. Nominally he is head over all, but in every crisis, someone else makes the decisions.

Hospitality to Christ fulfills the promise that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17).

7/16/2008 8:07:00 AM by Lamar King | with 0 comments




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