I have a new-found love of coffee. Honestly, I have no idea where this came from. I have spent 36 years of my life loving the smell, but hating the taste of America’s favorite liquid stimulant. All of a sudden, I am beginning each day enjoying a cup of Caribou Coffee’s “Daybreak Morning Blend” brewed through the office’s new Keurig, and ending each day with a cup of Starbucks Decaf from my Mr. Coffee. I am not certain, but it is possible that my taste buds are simply now old enough (read: dead enough) to put up with the otherwise bitter bean. Whatever the reason, I now like the stuff and so I needed to purchase supplies.
Last night after Josh went to bed, I headed out to Target to get some coffee supplies. One package of filters, a box of Keurig “K Cups”, and a half gallon of skim milk later and I was headed back home.
Once I got home with my newly purchased possessions, I was eager to put them into use. You don’t purchase groceries to forget about them, you buy them to consume them. Therefore, I quickly brewed a few cups of decaf before starting work on my dissertation.
I was thinking about last night’s Target adventure today as I read 1 Peter 1:1-2, and I saw an interesting analogy. 1 Peter 1:1-2 say this, “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to God’s elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.” In these verses, I see declared God’s target in saving humanity: He wants to cleanse us (“sprinkling by His blood”) and He wants “obedience to Jesus.” Simply put, God purchased (and cleansed us from our sin) so that we would walk in “obedience to Jesus.” He did not purchase us and then forget about us. He purchased us for a specific purpose.
In American evangelical Christianity today, many times this simple idea can be lost. With our intense interest in talking about the moment of conversion, we forget sometimes what God’s desire is after someone undergoes their spiritual new birth. We are not saved because of our good works, but we are saved and sanctified so that we can walk in the good works Jesus has planned for us (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Some will read this and assume the worst. They will see this as a slippery slope toward legalism or humanism. Before you jump to the worst conclusions, let me stop you. I believe totally in the grace of God that saves all of us on the basis of Jesus’s saving work on the cross. However, I also believe totally in the grace of God that empowers us through the sanctifying work of the Spirit to live out what would have been impossible on our own . . . a life of true obedience to Jesus.
As you walk through your day today, ask yourself the question, “Is your life on Target?” Knowing you have been purchased by God and then not forgotten about, will you now live a life of obedience by faith in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit? Upon coming to faith in Christ, our desires have matured (read: been made alive enough) to include a desire to obey Jesus. This is a cup that we must drink from daily.