By London Harben
Life is tough… Some days are wonderful while some days are harder to overcome than the largest mountain. Do you ever stop to think about what challenges you are currently facing? How about the challenges you have already overcome? We are constantly bombarded by issues with work, relationships, family, money, and the many negative influences of this world. These things can overwhelm us and distract us from our purpose in life; however, as Christians, we can know with absolute certainty that we have been given something that makes all of these things pass away into nothingness. That something is, grace.
I know I know; London, God promises to bless us with forgiveness if we submit to him and believe that Jesus Christ has made his sacrifice for our sins. Yes this is true; however, have you ever truly stopped to see what is beyond this simple explanation of Christian salvation? Have you seen how different Christianity is from every other world religions, even in fundamental ways? No other religion offers the gift of salvation through grace upfront with no strings attached. None. All other religions that teach a form of afterlife must be obtained through good deeds exceeding your bad deeds, often called Karma.
This subtle yet astronomically different premise demonstrates the only obtainable option that we as fallen creatures have at a true chance to become forgiven by a perfect being. I’ve recently learned a new viewpoint from my studies in relation to the question: Why would a complete and infinite God create us in the first place? He is perfect with the Unity of the Trinity and cannot gain anything from us as created beings and yet; that is not why he created us. For he did not create us for his gain, but for our gain. Essentially, it all boils down to an infinitely loving being that wants to create new life that can share in His complete unity and love with us. Realize that Jesus considers us as believers to be his friends — not his servants — even though we are his servants. Christ has done the impossible and bridged the gap between us as unworthy beings to become one with Him.
Understand friends that we are called to live by the example set forth by Christ. He, an infinite being, came to us and lowered Himself to our finite level out of love for us to save us, not to strictly judge us. God Himself has made himself man and has outstretched his hand in offering us a chance to receive his wonderful grace. (Luke 22:27-30: 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.) We must humble ourselves and recognize that we are to love Him who wants to save us and also love others of this world, even our enemies. Why would God call us to love our enemies when they hate us and rebel against us? Are we not the enemies of God that rebel against him in sin? Once we understand this perspective we may finally see that without a doubt Christianity offers us a unique, unrivaled, and logically realistic opportunity to obtain a relationship with a perfect and infinite being.
Jesus humbled himself and lowered himself to our finite existence to show us how much we are worth to him. YOU are of infinite value…yes YOU! Scripture tells us each human is loved beyond our limited comprehension even though we are sinful by nature not deserving a single thing from God. So friends, no matter where you are at in this life whether it be far from God or close to Him, whether you are facing unclimbable mountains, or everything is going well; God will never stop loving and pursuing you in this life. I urge you to take His hand and except His wonderful gift of grace and to spread the good news to everyone you can.
Prayer: Thank you, God. Thank you for sending your Son to sacrifice himself for my sins. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share in your glory and to humble myself before you. I recognize that You and You alone are the reason for my existence, and I ask that you guide me in this life to glorify You in whatever way possible. Help me to create disciples as you have made me your disciple through your love for me. Help me to be bold and to share the good news that you have given to me through your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen!
Reflection: Read and pray over the below verses. How can you as an individual, and US as a church, live to glorify God and spread the good news to those that are lost? We, through fellowship and love, can encourage one another and spread the word of God to those that need it in our local community and the world. God bless!
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16)
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ((Ephesians 4:1-6)