Friday, November 29, 2013

Living Linked!

Even the most passionate pursuit of Christian fellowship and ministry does not produce heaven on earth but it will change the world!  That’s my take-away today.  ‘Living the abundant life’ Jesus provides means we are God’s in totality:  no excuses, no limits, no compartments, no entanglements with that which is unholy or unrighteous.  Christianity is not a passive lifestyle; there are choices to make.  But praise God, the power of the Spirit will bring us through if we choose to receive His grace.

No one should ever imply that living the victorious Christian life means there is no pain or sorrow. Even Paul—the Bible Great—says he felt those external conflicts and felt fear within.  We will too. Though we live the God-life when we accept Christ as our Savior and ask the Holy Spirit to live within, we physically remain in a sin-filled world.  We are still prone to temptation and the ‘sensation’ of hurt; Christians are not immune to suffering. 

The ingredient in Christian suffering, though, that changes the world is GRACE.  Receiving the grace of God in trials creates a generous heart that shows the world what the heart of God looks like.  His grace allows us to serve others even in pain (they cause) with joy!  The message of grace-filled lives is this: God cares!  Every action we take in this world is to reveal the love—pure, holy, challenging LOVE of God.  That only happens when we meet needs—and allow our needs to be met—with the grace of God Himself.  Experiencing the totality of God requires relationship—with Him and others.

 Paul reiterated that other people are letters from God written on our hearts.  The Spirit writes those ‘letters’ with a purpose we should embrace.  TOGETHER we can learn to die to self and live to Him!  Uniting our hearts with others will create tensions and hurts and demand sacrifice.  Living as His means every involvement we have with others will aim at the purpose of revealing this: God cares.  

 Our words about and to one another must meet the same high standard.  This quote from Spurgeon pierced my own heart today:
 “The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonour the Church and the name of the Lord.”

God spoke this world into being.  Our words matter immensely.  God desires to use us to bring comfort and blessing to one another.  Silence may be the greatest sacrifice God calls some of us to give.

Living as His—without limitations—means trusting Him to give us His grace to pass along to every person He brings into our heart—our lives.  When His grace abounds….oh, my, the world is changed!   Let’s world changers and show the world God cares.

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