Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Life-Giver: Part 1

I know that I have talked about Susan Hunt’s concept of being a life-giver before, but it has really been on my mind lately. I have been so convicted that even though I don’t realize it, by default I am a life-taker, not a life-giver. If I am not intentionally working towards that end, then I will always lean towards life-taking. Which is why I have decided to do a small series on being a life-giver. Doing a series on this blog may seem like a stretch for me, considering the lack of frequency in my posting. But, Lord willing, I hope to fulfill this desire, primarily for my own spiritual benefit. First, I will talk about what a life-giver is, and then I will touch on practical ways we can be life-givers in our every day lives.

In her book, The Legacy of Biblical Womanhood, Susan Hunt says that “Genesis 3:20 predicts the redeemed woman’s mission to leave the legacy [of biblical womanhood] by being a life-giver: ‘the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she is the mother of all living.’”

She calls this redemption a “battle” and says: “this battle for biblical womanhood is nothing new. It is simply the reclaiming of what has been and always will be. But reclaim we must—for the glory of our sovereign king and the advancement of his Kingdom.”

And so the battle rages.

Being a life-giver in today’s society is not easy. The argument for womanhood that we are given is one of life-taking. But it’s not just the society around us that makes life-giving a challenge. Our own hearts are, by their very nature, drawn to life-taking. Which is why we need the Gospel.

Becoming a life-giver begins with the Gospel because our example is Christ, who made himself nothing and gave his life for us (Philippians 2). He is the ultimate life-giver that we look to. It is also must begin with the Gospel because we need renewed minds. Romans 12:1 tells us this, and we know this to be true because of Romans 1 and 2. We are fallen and marred by sin and cannot think in terms of life-giving apart from Christ’s saving work in our lives.

Once we have been redeemed, how do we live? We must go to the source of our living, the Word. Jesus is the Word made flesh, and we know more about him by studying the Bible. If we are not daily fighting our sinful tendency to be a life-taker, we will naturally be inclined towards life-taking. Bible memory and daily Bible reading are very practical, beginning steps towards knowing our Savior. You can memorize Philippians 2, which is a great passage about the incarnation of our Savior. Read through a yearly Bible plan and learn about God’s purposes of redemption and how he redeems people to be life-givers. Listen to good sermons that will spur you on to holiness and challenge you in your walk. Get involved in a local church body where you will have opportunities to serve and give life to the members. All of these things are a start at fighting our own tendency to be selfish, life-takers.

My hope with this series is that we would first love our Christ more, that we would see our desperate need to be daily pleading before the throne of grace from the perfect life giver, Himself. This is not empty moralism. It is a heart issue, really, which is why the Gospel must be central. If we simply do this without trusting Christ, without trusting in his righteousness, we will fail and God will not be pleased. Any amount of life-giving in us is empty without the Savior. It must come be born out of a heart that loves Christ and desires to do his will. In part two, I hope to talk about qualities of a life-giver. May our great God give you grace to give life to others and glory to himself.