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Futile Living

As I was working on Leadership Camp (August 4-6 at Camp Nebowa) this morning I began to ponder this passage from 1 Peter:
And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake, who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:17-21; ESV).

Peter tells us that the way the world is living is futile, and thus give life.  Take for example a show like American Idol, which clearly demonstrates the futility of trying to find life through being famous.  So many of the people who trying out for the show believe it is their only chance of “making it” and if they could then they could really have life.

Shows like the Bachelor shows us the futility of trying to find life in a relationship.  The problem is that world’s understanding of romantic love is flawed, for it is just a matured version of lust, because at its core is, “What can you do for me.”  People pursue romance in order to find validation, that they really are a man or that they really are beautiful.  In other words, people want to know that they are desired and accepted, and they hope to find this in a romantic relationship.  It is also the reason why so many relationships fall apart, because when validation no longer comes through the romantic relationship, it is time to find a new one.

The way of Christ is fundamentally different than the way of the world.  For the source of our life is not what we are able to accomplish or in what another person offers us, but it is found in Christ Jesus Himself.  In Him we find what being human is all about, in Him we discover that life comes from serving rather than being served and that our validation comes from what Christ has already done for us rather than what another person can offer us.

Here is the simple point that I want to make today: Christ offers us a new way to live.  The ways to live the world offers us: fame, power, romance, pleasure, fun, etc. are all futile.  Sooner or later they will leave us disappointed, but the way of the Christ will continue to lead us deeper and deeper into what life is really all about.  That doesn’t mean there will be no obstacles or disappointments along the way, but it does mean that we will discover a joy, a peace, and a purpose for life that we could find in no other place.  Thanks be to God who has delivered us from futile living and given us true life in Christ.


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