You were made to influence the world for good in such a way that God gets the credit. God calls you. God prepares you. God sends you. God empowers you. God uses you. God rewards you. He gives you a platform to shine light into the surrounding darkness. He gives you a platform to salt the surrounding flavorlessness. Why? So others come into the light. So others taste the flavor. Christians are salty and shiny when they make God and His kingdom taste and look good through what we say and do, so that others find their way to happiness in Him and He is honored in them. Be salty. Be shiny. Be like Jesus.
God doesn’t need us to do anything for Him as if He could ever be deficient in some area that we could supply for Him. But our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, teammates, and strangers do need us to do for them. Not because God is failing to meet their needs, and we should make up for His oversight or indifference, but rather because in His loving providence, He has sent us to bring His aid to them. God puts us in places where needy people are right in front of us so we can be like Jesus to them by offering a helping hand, a guiding word, and a loving embrace. He is working all the time and often it is through us.
Christian love has two parts: affection and action. Love feels something on the inside. Love does something on the outside. These two parts work together in the lives of those who follow Jesus to help us relate to each other like Jesus relates to us. When we look at how His love for us is, we see how our love for others should be. To the degree that we anticipate and appreciate His care for us in seeking our good, we will reflect that same lovingkindness towards the people in our lives as we seek their good. Spurred on by His love, let us love today like Jesus … caring about others and caring for others.
The attention of every single consciously awake and aware human being is captured by something at all times. We are either focused on something that nurtures a deeper love for, stronger dependence on, greater obedience to and better enjoyment of Jesus or something that drains that from us. Our aim as Christians should be to interrupt the fixation of others on the world and its ways and shine a spotlight on Him, so they can experience the blessings and benefits of knowing Him and the privilege and pleasure of worshipping Him. Today, let us get people to look at us so we can encourage them to look at Him.
God certainly works in supernatural ways at times, but He also works at making supernatural changes inside of His people so we who have been touched by His grace and generosity will pay it forward to others. You can’t do everything, but you can do something to make a difference … one need at a time, one moment at a time, one person at a time. Therefore, show the world His heart for them by being His hands and feet to them. The church of God, His people, you and me, are His Plan A for blanketing the world with good works and spreading the good news of Jesus everywhere we go. There is no Plan B.
God has divinely positioned you so that your life intersects with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and teammates so you can help them take the next step in their spiritual journey. These people that He will bring into your path today desperately need to know what you know about Jesus. God has sent you to tell them about the riches of His grace, and the only message about Jesus that He can’t use is the one you don’t share. One of the greatest aims of your life should be that the people in your life grow in their relationship with Jesus because of their relationship with you.
Even as Christians, one of the human weaknesses that we must continue to seek divine strength to overcome is our bent to be selfish. We need the mind and heart of Christ: a mind that regularly thinks of others rather than just ourselves, and a heart that is compassionate enough to serve and support others even at our own expense. It should be the golden rule, not the exception, to give up what we want so others can get what they need. That is when we are like Jesus. Today, go out of your way to do for others, joyfully remembering this: Jesus went out of His way from heaven to earth to the cross to do for you.
God helps us help one another by giving spiritual gifts of His grace to every person in His family. We don’t earn these spiritual abilities; they are gifts. They aren’t all the same; they come in various forms. We don’t let them gather dust; we use them. They aren’t to be used selfishly; they are to be used to bless others. We don’t use them to bless others so we are praised; we do so that Jesus may receive the glory. So, let us do our part today with the resources we have been entrusted to steward for the good of those around us. One way God shows grace to us is through others; one way God shows grace to others is through us.
One of the evidences that you have received God’s pardon for your sin is that you are relying on God’s power to fight against your sin. Forgiveness and freedom are two inseparable aspects of grace. You don’t get one without the other. Spiritual growth will vary by person and season, but one thing every genuine Christian has in common is this: sin no longer holds the same appeal or power as it once did. We go from loving sin to hating it and from choosing sin to fighting it. Though we will not be sinless, we will sin less because of this… Our relationship with sin changes because of our relationship with Jesus.
As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are meant to bear each other’s burdens so that the heavy load of hardship is lightened. This could be to use our ears to listen to a confession or a cry. This could be to use our mouths to speak a word of encouragement. This could be to use our hands to meet a physical need. But none of this will happen if we don’t let each other know about burdens or if we don’t let each other help with burdens. God means for us to be dependent, not independent. Firstly, on Him. Secondly, on Him through each other. Today, share your burdens with others and bear the burdens of others.
To be a peace-maker, we must first be a peace-experiencer. When we put our faith in Jesus, we immediately experience peace with God and increasingly experience the peace of God. With our sin no longer separating us from Him, we are then able to be instruments of peace in the lives of other sinners around us. We do this by proclaiming the gospel message and reminding those in conflict of the precious promises made to those who let His peace rule in their hearts instead of being ruled by their sin. Today, let us strive to bring people together with each other and people together with God.