When we try to make others pay for their sin, we have forgotten that Jesus paid for our sin. As recipients of grace, we are to release our instinct for revenge when others wrong us to let God judge, punish and make all things right in His timing and in His way. Our role is to model His grace, not His judgment. Even when we must seek appropriate justice, it should be motivated by love, not hatred. So, let us overcome evil with good and leave it to God to do the work He means to do. We who have received grace should be quickest to extend it, praying that others will turn to Jesus as we ourselves have done.
With what are we filling up our social media feeds, texts and emails, and in-person conversations? Speaking about our confidence in a political leader should pale in comparison to speaking about our faith in Jesus. More important than warning others with our conspiracy theories is warning them about the consequences of their sin. We shouldn’t talk as if our hope is in the hands of our government, but in the hands of our sovereign and loving Father in heaven. People desperately need to hear… Biblical truth. Good news of salvation. Grace-dripping words. Unshakeable promises of God. More. About. Jesus.
It’s not Sunday church clothes. It’s not a cross necklace. It’s not a t-shirt. Being a Christian is not something we put on and take off depending upon the place we are at, the position we are in, or the people we are around. We should strive by grace to speak, act and live in the same manner at all times, not picking and choosing when we let our Christianity be seen. People will know that we belong to Jesus not because of what we have on, but by how we love on those around us. 24/7 we are imperfect image-bearers of the One living in our hearts. Our identity is not something we wear, it’s something we are.
Christian is the adjective that should describe every category of our lives. We are Christian family members, Christian friends, Christian workers, Christian movie-goers, Christian neighbors, Christian drivers, Christian shoppers, and across all categories, Christian mistake-makers. Flawed, but forgiven. Imperfect, but improving. Unworthy, but unfinished. Knowing Jesus… Has changed, is changing and will change who we are and what we do as we grow to trust Him and be like Him more fully in more areas of our lives. A question we need to ask ourselves is this: Do I live as if Jesus is my life or just a part of it?
Do you know how God works through your life to change someone else’s life? The everyday moments of life. Don’t think there is no value in the chaos of your life. Don’t believe that your normal life isn’t anything special. Don’t accept the lie that what you do and how you do it doesn’t matter. Don’t give up when your efforts seem fruitless and unappreciated. Don’t be silent about communicating the love of God in both your words and actions. Moment by moment you can bear the Father’s heart, bear witness to Jesus, and bear the fruit of the Spirit. Every moment counts when you live it to point people to God.
Following Jesus means leaving some places, people, and pursuits behind to go wherever Jesus leads us, to do whatever Jesus says to us when we get there. It also means being faithful in the season, situation and spot He has already led us, to do whatever He brought us here to do. Sometimes this faith journey will require us to go to hard places, have hard conversations, do hard things, endure hard circumstances and deal with hard people. But Jesus will be with us every step of the way to make a way for us to take every step. Be encouraged! He never said it would be easy; He only said it would be worth it.
God wants you to be great. But… It’s not about size. It’s not about strength. It’s not about superiority. It’s not about success. At least, not in the ways that the world calculates those things. In the world we live in, the more people who serve you, the greater you are. In the kingdom of God, the greater you are, the more people you serve. God intends for your greatness to be in ways that are radically different than the world’s standards, for He measures greatness in the cross of Jesus Christ and in every act of His children that expresses that same kind of servant love towards those in need of it. By grace, be great today.
It’s so easy to give up on people who don’t seem to get it or don’t seem to care. It’s so easy to distance yourself from people who are negative. It’s so easy to walk away from people who don’t agree with us. It’s so easy to check out of relationships when we give more than we receive. But don’t stop showing people the love of Jesus, because it is the love of Jesus that can soften a heart, transform a life, rewrite a story, and impact an eternity. Though it is sometimes hard to do good to others, let us never give up on people by remembering that Jesus never gives up on us. As He does for us, may we do for others.
Satan wants to convince us that our doing good isn’t actually doing much good. He will skew the facts, point to the wrong metric, and mislabel our actions as failures. But God doesn’t measure our success by social media likes, comments and shares. God sees us quietly toiling behind the scenes loving Him by loving others and measures our success not by our fruitfulness or fanfare, but our faithfulness. What’s even more encouraging is this: God is working through us in ways that are unknown to us. So… keep on faithfully serving King Jesus because it all counts. Nothing you do for His kingdom will ever be wasted.
Others need us to point them to where they can go for help in hardships. Others need to believe us because they see us going there ourselves. The people in our lives need to see us suffer well, handling hardships with hope because we have Jesus in our lives. They need to see and hear our joy-filled, hope-filled, peace-filled confidence in this: He will get us through every test, trial and tribulation until He gets us home. As we walk through seasons of suffering, let us testify to the faithfulness of Jesus in walking with us so others can know, that because grace is available, they never have to walk alone either.
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.