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Full time Christians
- Jacob Ninan
"Once I was blind, but now I see!" "Once I was lost, but now am found!" These are expressions people use to describe what God has done in their lives when they came to God as sinners, and God gave them a Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Bible also uses other phrases such as coming into life from death, into light from darkness, etc., to describe the same experience. Even if this transition happens in some people's lives over a period of time without being dramatic as in other lives, nevertheless it is still a life changing milestone for everyone. What is a man's normal response when he recognises what God has done for him in this way? He worships God, with humility, gratitude and love bursting out from his heart. He cries out, "What can I do for all that You have done for me? I'll love You and serve You with all that is within me!" God's word says that this is the only reasonable response under such circumstances (Ro.12:1).
Such a man recognises that he doesn't belong to himself any more, but that God has bought him with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ (1Co.6:19,20). His body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Even though God has adopted him as a son of God, he considers himself as a bond slave of God. His time, energy, money, and everything else that God has given him belong to God. Whether he works in a factory or serves as an evangelist, he does all things according to God's will and in order to glorify God (1Co.10:31). He is a Christian, full time.
On the other hand we may be divided in our heart between God and this world. Then we decide that certain things such as going to church, reading the Bible and praying are spiritual things, and working in a job, getting married, buying things for the home, enjoying a hobby, watching TV, etc., are secular things. We talk about spiritual things in a church, and other things outside. We give some of our money for 'spiritual things' and spend the rest any way we like. We use 'spiritual' language when we talk about 'spiritual' subjects and common (worldly) business practices in our daily dealings. In such a case we are, at best, part time Christians.
Many of us have acknowledged that Jesus is the Lord of our lives, but even while seeking to love and serve God as full time Christians we are aware of discrepancies between our profession and practice. So there is nothing in us that can boast, or look down on part time Christians. At the same time we can imagine that somehow such people's eyes have not yet 'seen' the incredible magnitude of God's grace reaching down to us sinners and the largeness of God's heart towards us.
Don't we too need to examine our own lives periodically to see how we can show God our gratitude in a better way, and what He would have us to do for Him, not just in terms of 'ministry' but in our everyday life? Don't our thoughts, words and deeds need to be pleasing to God full time?