Our Response to Christ’s Amazing Love and Forgiveness

Posted: February 17, 2014 in build up, Christ, Community, compassion, Disciple, Discipleship, Family, Focus, Forgiveness, great commission, Jesus, Kindness, Mentor, mentoring, Relational

Ephesians 4:32 – Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each another, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Eph 4_32

This verse is a representation of our response to the new life Christ offers us when He comes in and takes up residence in our lives.  Once we have accepted the amazing gift that God offers us, salvation through the sacrificial work of Jesus, we have new life.  We are no longer subject to the sinful and malicious desires of our human nature.  We are new…created by God and saved through Christ to be free from the sinful nature in which we were born.

Sounds great doesn’t it?  Don’t you wish it were as easy as it sounds all the time?  I know we have glimpses of this nature – kindness, compassion and forgiveness – we see this sometimes in ourselves as well as those around us…the person who stops to help someone in their time of need; someone offering up words of encouragement when others are dealing with hard times; someone seeking forgiveness when they may not even feel at fault.

Yet, we all struggle!  Why is that?  Why can’t we just take on the new self and never struggle with our sinful nature again?  You know what I am talking about, right? Road rage; yelling at our kids when they don’t comply; snapping to judgment when we see someone else’s sin playing out in destructive ways; stretching the truth to make ourselves look better in a given situation; putting others down to imply we are better than them; etc.

You see, this life in Christ we share is not a one-decision thing.  We don’t accept that amazing gift and simply go about our lives the way we once did.  We are a new creation, which means we are growing in a new direction – closer to God, becoming more like His Son.  Jesus doesn’t just want to be our Savior, saving us from hell; He wants to be in relationship with us.  And that relationship requires each of us to spend time with Him…in prayer, learning more about Him through His word, seeking out community with like-minded believers, and practicing the things He calls each of us to do.  We do not earn salvation by doing the things He expects of us – be kind, compassionate and forgive.  By responding to His love and grace in our lives and obeying the things He calls each of us to do, we are showing our love for the only One who could save us from our own sin.

Again, we cannot earn salvation!  None of us are good enough to get a free pass to be with God eternally.  We receive salvation by the grace and love of Jesus, and all we need to do is accept that gift and respond by loving Him in return and applying what He says to our daily lives.  We will stumble and struggle at times, but that is why He expects us to be in community.  He designed us to be in relationship – first with Him, and then with others.  Relational Discipleship at its very core is simply having a relationship with Jesus, having relationships with others, and continually seeking to become more like Him as well as helping others begin a relationship with Him and begin their journey in becoming more like Him.  Disciples making disciples – that’s relational discipleship at its best and how Jesus calls each and every believer to live their lives while here on this earth.

Accept His gift, and get to know Him.  As you do, He will place passions in your heart for those lost without The Savior.  You can then build those relationships with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as you introduce others to this amazing Jesus; always seeking to be a disciple who makes disciples!  This is how we reach the world for the sake of Christ!

 

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