Growing up in a Christian home, with parents who were devoted to attending church, I was privileged to hear hundreds of powerful messages that were full of truth about God and what it means to follow him. Yet, one message stood out above the rest. I didn’t hear it at Hume Lake or on a Sunday morning. Instead, it was an exhortation spoken quietly by a trusted leader who looked me in the eyes and said three short words, “Christ in me.” Years later, those three words still penetrate my soul as I both relish the promise and engage the challenge.
In Acts 1, we read about Jesus’ ascension to heaven. As the disciples watched, they were likely shaking their heads and saying, “what now… we thought Jesus said he would always be with us”. They had spent three years, dedicated to following their Rabbi and he disappeared into the sky? But he left some instructions that indicate that his ascension would not mean absence. He was leaving them with power in the form of a comforter, an advocate, and friend. So the choice with which they were left was whether or not to follow; believing that Christ’s presence was still active and authoritative.
Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:22-23 that, “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”
This certainly doesn’t sound like absence! Furthermore, who has ever claimed to “fill all things everywhere with himself?” The authority with which God speaks is a declaration of presence throughout every aspect of our lives. What an incredible gift! There is no need for striving, performance or achievement. He fills every part of us such that we have the very mind of Christ. Oh what a marvelous hope! This promise of presence is available to each of us, but we have to make the decision to embrace it. That means giving Christ access to everything: the areas we try to hide, our deepest sorrows, and the need to do things our own way. For some it is easier to call Christ Savior than to call him Lord; and for others, just the opposite. What does it mean though to call him both?
Throughout the rest of this week, we are going to explore areas where Jesus is calling us to embrace him not only as Savior but also as Lord. He has declared his presence and his authority; do you believe it? By proclaiming Jesus as Savior and Lord, we surrender to his authority and have the joy and freedom to say, “Christ in me.”
For further reflection, take a moment to worship the Lord with this song by Jeremy Camp, “Christ in Me.” Jeremy Camp – Christ In Me
Director of Soul Care & Counseling