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Sunday @ 9:00 AM,  Wednesday @ 7:00 PM

  • Writer's pictureCody Chesser

At Least...

"At least I go to church on Sunday."
"At least I don't drink"
"At least I believe in God"

Have you ever said one of these statements? Maybe you have said something similar? These statements, amongst many others, speak to a sentiment that is very common in our world today. It's this idea that I am aware of issues and problems in my life, but I can feel at peace as long as I can point to some proof of religion or "good decisions" in my life.

"I may not go to church every week; I may have a drink of alcohol from time to time; I might sleep with my girlfriend a few nights a week; but at least I'm still a Christian who believes in God."

When we say things like this, we are treating Christianity like its a name tag we can put on to tell people we are good without giving any thought to whether that name actually represents who we are.

Is simply calling myself a Christian good enough? Is my belief in God enough to justify my salvation despite the other choices I make in my life? Is it ok for me to ignore some of the commands of God because I am "at least..." fulfilling some of the others?

The answer, according to scripture, is absolutely not!

"Christian" is a commitment, not a claim.

In Matthew 7, Jesus says:

"Not everyone who says to Me, ' Lord, Lord.' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Many will say to Me on that day. 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?"

And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Matthew 7:21-23)

Did you notice whose name they were proclaiming to wear? Christ. Yet, still, Jesus informs them that He doesn't even know them and they are practicing lawlessness. In order for Jesus to know us and to allow us to be with him in eternity, we can not simply claim to be "Christian." We have to be practicing the law. FULLY. This takes a commitment from us to ensure that "Christian" isn't just the name tag we are putting on but the life we are living.

These people may have said some of the same things we are talking about now: "I may not be doing everything I need to be doing, but at least I'm prophesying in your name."

My body, the sacrifice.

Consider the following verses:

Romans 12:1 "Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."
Matthew 22:37 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."
Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

With these verses in mind, what is the "least" that we can offer God?

There is no good answer to that question. We are to FULLY give ALL of ourselves to God. It's all or nothing. If we choose not to give ourselves fully to him, we will be told to depart. We will be separate from him. There is no "at least.." when it comes to our salvation. If we take an approach to Christianity that we don't have to fully commit as long as we are "at least" meeting some arbitrary minimum requirement that we set, we are wasting our time, and we are destined for destruction.

God deserves more than our least.

Sadly, our "At least.." attitude ends up not guaranteeing that we are right with God, but instead, is a selfish justification for determining the least amount of effort that I can give to God.

What is the bare minimum that I can do, to receive salvation?

This is a dangerous attitude that isn't giving God the proper respect. Think about what God has done for you? He created you, the world you live in, everything you have, and on top of all of that:

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life." - John 3:16

He gave His son to die on a cross for us; to allow us to be with him for eternity in paradise. God didn't give us His least. He gave us everything, and yet for some strange reason, I can fool myself into thinking that spending an hour, one day a week in a church building is the best I have to offer?

Once I was dead in my sins (Romans 6:23) and God gave me life through His son. I don't have to die in my sins. God is giving me eternity and in return asks that I give him the short life I live here on earth.

Instead of aiming for the bare minimum to be in right standing with God, I should strive to find new and improved ways to bring Him joy each day. Considering that He created everything and sacrificed His Son for my salvation, is it really too much to give Him this short life on earth in return for eternity? It seems like the least I can do.

God doesn't settle for 'at least', so why should we? Let's give Him our whole hearts, not just our minimal effort.

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