Our human, finite minds cannot fully grasp the height, depth and width of the kind of love that would cause God to send His only Son to die on a cross for our sins. But, when we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are allowed a glimpse into the depth of that love. If we are truly convinced of that love, it should be more than enough to compel us to share His love and His story with others. He died for all of us and was raised again for our salvation. If we truly believe this, then we no longer see others through our eyes but through the eyes of Christ. Once, before we accepted Jesus as our Lord, we saw Him as the world sees Him, just a good man and teacher, but when we received the Holy Spirit, we began to see Jesus in a whole new way. Everything and everyone around us looks different because we are or should be looking at those around us just as Jesus sees them. As C S Lewis said: “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.” Thus everything has become “new” to us. But, in reality, what has become truly new is us. We are a new creation!
23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. — 1 Peter 1:23 NIV
So, let us turn from our old, wicked ways and walk in the newness of life led by the Holy Spirit!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
1 Finally, my dear friends, since you belong to the Lord Jesus, we beg and urge you to live as we taught you. Then you will please God. You are already living that way, but try even harder. — 1 Thess. 4:1 CEV
When it comes to living a Holy Life, I am learning to never say “I have learned”. I find it much more truthful to say “I am learning”. It seems that every time I think I have my mind wrapped around a Biblical concept, God opens each verse a little wider and I see there is more to it than I thought. I am not sure that I will ever graduate from Spiritual kindergarten. I believe that is why Paul carries the theme of learning, teaching, and encouraging throughout the book of 1 Thessalonians. We must continue to study and to mentor others until Jesus calls us home. To me, that is part of the beauty of Scriptures. They just never grow old or boring, Every day,God has something fresh, new, awesome, and wonderful for us to learn and to teach others
17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NRSV)
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.–Romans 12:1,2 (NRSV)
God has been so gracious and merciful to us to bring us to another New year’s Eve. As we contemplate our activities for the day and make our resolutions (if you do that), let us take into account the One who has given us this new day and this coming new year. Our activities should reflect the love that Christ Jesus has shown us and put in our hearts. The world desperately needs that message now more than ever. Let us resolve to make the new year a year that we dedicate or re-dedicate our lives, body and soul to Him for His service. If we, as Christians, everywhere, firmly resolved to do that and actually carried it out, then maybe our resolutions could turn into a revolution! (Yes, I got the idea from the phone commercial, but it is a great idea). Rejoice tonight and in the coming year, but do it so that God gets the glory!
1 John 2:7-11 (NLT) 7 Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8 Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. 9 If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is still living in darkness. 10 Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11 But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness.
It is so easy for us to say the words, “I love…..”. The question is this: Can we back that statement up with actions? John tells us that Jesus lived the truth of this commandment. We are told in the Gospels that Jesus went about doing good. If we look back on our life for just today, would it be possible for someone to make that statement about us? If someone had spent the day with you would they be able to say about you what the council said about Peter and John in Acts 4:12,13 (NLT) 12 There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” 13 The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.
Do we love enough and live enough like Jesus that people would notice it? The Light has come, walk in that Light and let the love of Jesus shine through you.