Babylon Falling Grace Rising

The Disappointment of Un-Christlike Christians


Babylon Falling-Grace Rising #14

How many believers do you know who are living an abundant life? The kind Jesus speaks about in John 10:10? The kind Jesus modeled.

An abundance of:

Intimacy and communication with God



Rich relationships

Connection with and appreciation for all the beauty God created in our world

Hope in God’s character and his promises

Grace for others


Jesus attracted people by the thousands in a day without any social media or news outlets. With all the modern communication available to us to spread the gospel story of salvation and abundant life, how come people of the world aren’t flocking to many of our churches by the thousands or even dozens? Here’s what I think could be true.

My observation is that Babylon is most definitely failing and falling, ripping the rugs out from millions of people who put all their faith and hope in its systems. Those folks are seeking something true and certain that they can hold onto in turbulent times. For many, there seems to be a disconnect from this truth; the body of Christ holds the key.

There are several reasons for this, but I think one of the biggies is you and me and the way we are walking out our faith. I know, that’s an awkward thing to say, but I’m preaching to myself here.

Yes, I’ve talked before about worldly Christians living like hell during the week in the marketplace then cleaning themselves up for an appearance in church on Sundays. I’m not talking about them today, cause it’s highly doubtful they are reading this. No, I’m talking to people like me, devoted, consistent God-followers who do not fully understood how to live in the new life Christ came up out of the grave to give to us. In some ways, I have been an Un-Christlike Christian.

People like me get it right concerning our sin situation and why Christ was the perfect, once for all sacrifice. (Hebrews 101-18) We get it. Justice could not be satisfied any other way, so we accepted Jesus’ offer to stand in our place and take the punishment we deserved. We also recognize that eternity in Heaven with God is only available to us through Jesus. We recognize Christ as the one who did all the work of transferring our eternal soul’s citizenship from hell to heaven. We understand who we used to be or could be without Christ.

As precious and dear as the work of the Cross is to me and you though, it is only one half of the gospel message. The full story includes Jesus’ resurrection that then gave us the power to walk out new lives. For much of my life I unintentionally focused my faith walk heavily on the forgiveness of the Cross more than the abundance and possibilities of my new life. To be honest, I was rule focused. It’s like the time during my teenage years when my parents started seeing a naturopath doctor from whom they learned about healthy eating. When my mom and dad began this lifestyle though, they became unbalanced.

My parents learned about nutrition and identified unhealthy foods in our house. Overnight, they purged pop, Kool-Aid, potato chips, cookies, candies, and other junk food. Unfortunately, they didn’t replace those things with wholesome alternatives. Suddenly my brothers and I found ourselves boxed in by a lot of new rules about food. Rough, rough days when we jumped overnight from Oreos to roasted chickpeas. It took about several months for my parents to adapt nutritious choices for snacks like baked goods with whole grains, roasted nuts, fruits, and such. As a family, we were then able to walk out together into a new life of much healthier eating habits.

When we don’t balance the work of the Cross with the opportunities for an abundant life through the resurrection, we naturally drift towards being heavy handed with rules. We orient ourselves to all the things that Christians shouldn’t do just like my parents became completely focused on everything our family couldn’t eat anymore. The minds of sincere Christians are authentically concerned about not drifting into sin. That’s good but I don’t think it would be so hard if we also filled our thoughts with wonderings and prayers about all the good things God wants to do in us, for us and through us.

As an example, from my life, when lost coworkers tried to pull me into gossip about a boss or work conditions, I often made excuses to leave the room, saying nothing. The truth is, I had better things to offer, but I didn’t.

I could have asked them about their kids or their holiday or vacation plans or any other fun topic that could redirect the conversation. They would have known I cared about them as people, like Jesus.

I could have brought solutions and suggestions for change into the conversation, encouraging people to talk TO the boss instead of about them. People would learn that I’m fair minded and solution oriented, like Jesus.

I could have offered to speak to the boss myself. People might learn that God gives me courage and Holy Spirit gives me words to say when I need them.

To my credit, people knew, everywhere I ever worked, that I wouldn’t participate in gossip which is a good thing. They didn’t get to hear the other half of my story, though. God is the answer to life’s toughest, problems. He is the original creative genius for untangling and healing the messes of life.

This is what I mean about being Un-Christlike, when we only demonstrate half the gospel with our words and actions.

In speaking about the abundant life in his book, “The Good and Beautiful You,” James Bryan Smith says,

            “The greatest adventure I have ever had is living with Jesus in his unshakable kingdom. Every day is an opportunity to watch God do some amazing work. Bishop Will Willimon once said, ‘The greatest sin Christians can commit is boredom.’ For years (as a lost person) I found the Christian life boring, but that was before I learned about the kingdom of God and an interactive life with God. We ask too little and attempt too little because we think we are alone. But God is intimately involved with us and wants to empower us to live an abundant life of surprise. Your embodied soul was not made for sin, but for happiness and fun and excitement. And all those things can be godly. Holiness and hilarity are not opposed.”

This IS the life lost people are looking for in all the wrong places. May I encourage you to ask God to balance your mind and heart and begin to show you how to walk in the abundance he’s custom designed just for you?

Will you attract people to the joy of the Lord because it bubbles out of you?

Will people around you be drawn to the overflowing grace and kindness you offer daily?

Will people observe that even when you are in the same storm as they are, you remain peaceful and hope-filled?

Are people attracted to your laughter, your smiling face, and your upbeat attitude?

Are you your boss’s favorite worker?

Do you raise the atmosphere and mood wherever you go?

These are but a few signs of the abundant life. Let’s ask God to help us live in such a way that all the lost people fleeing Babylon can read our signs and find their way to Jesus.

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