Monday, January 8, 2018

Steppin' on My Own Toes

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As a Christian, you’re God’s messenger. What’s your message? What message does your life convey to the world around you?

Is it fair to judge you by the actions of your children?

Is it fair to judge God by the actions of His?

Is it fair for the world to judge God by my actions? Yours?

Since when is life “fair”?

Clearly, the world doesn’t understand the love of God. Could that be, at least, in part, my fault? Your fault?

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I recall a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch! It stings because it’s so true.

What’s one small thing we can do today to begin to turn this around?

What’s one small thing you can do today, to being to turn this around?

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Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

January is often thought of as a month for new beginnings, a month for starting over, a month for self-reflection.

God is the God of new beginnings and He’s wildly famous for His grace that supplies endless second chances, and He’s the source of the power that raised Jesus from the dead, so when surveying our lives and habits and shortcomings, we can draw upon that same power to raise us from our slumber, from our negligence, from our lack of sharing His love.

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If we call ourselves Christians, the people around us are looking at us for a demonstration of God’s love. Let’s try a little harder not to let them down.

Like the world, we’re often afraid to extend unconditional love to those around us. But, we’re instructed to not be like the world.

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 explains, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they [our weapons] have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

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This makes it clear, we’re not to operate as the world operates. We are to love as Jesus loves us.

I’ll conclude with the words of Jesus, Himself when asked what is His greatest command.

“Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

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