“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.” Galatians 2:20
I recently had the opportunity to go on a Christian cruise with two of my sisters. The week-long cruise featured several contemporary Christian musicians, including Mercy Me, Hawk Nelson and Tim Timmons. In addition to worshipping through music, our time was filled with daily prayer, and deepened by the messages of teaching pastors. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that my vacation was also enriched by the turquoise blue seas, 80-degree temperatures and refreshing breezes of the Caribbean (and the prospect of finding of buried treasure—just kidding).
I went on a “Christian” cruise, not so much to discover any new revelations, but instead hoping to be renewed by being immersed in God’s word. As the Lord would have it though, I did disembark the ship after a week with a strong message and a new feeling about what it really means to be a Christian. Though it may be an “aha!” moment others have had, this one was new to me, and it hit me out of nowhere: a Christian is someone who has the living Christ in them (Christ “in”). Now when I hear the word Christian, I actually hear “Christ-in.” Having Christ in you is not about who you are, but it’s about what you believe about who is in you.
Are you following me?
Being a Christian means that you and me are changed on the inside and not controlled from the outside. We have so many things clamoring for our attention, our time, our money and even our love. But if you really take hold of Christ-in, you know that it means that your heart is changed and your way of life follows. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21).
I also learned what Christ-in doesn’t’ mean. It doesn’t mean that we’re required to go to church every Sunday, tithe a certain percentage of our earnings or volunteer our time to worthy causes. But when Christ is really in you, you feel and recognize his presence. And that presence changes you! And, because you’re changed, you have the desire to give, to attend church, to volunteer. You have a new passion. All these things are no longer a “require,” but a desire (I made that one up).
So in reflection, I did essentially discover several things on my cruise: buried treasure (in my heart), a new revelation, and confirmation that God is the anchor of my soul. And, though the Caribbean life is relaxing, it’s actually God’s presence in us that renews and refreshes. And I affirm that when you believe that Jesus lives in you and me, everything truly is more beautiful, more valuable and definitely more Christ-in!