Being that this world is shouting at me how I should think, believe and live, I took the time to sort through all the noise and reflect on my own beliefs. This is what I discovered.
In a world that celebrates pride and uses the rainbow as a way to promote that pride, a symbol given as a reminder of God’s protection, His faithfulness, and a sign of the covenant between God and man, I cannot and will not celebrate pride or any other sin that cost the life of Jesus. I cannot celebrate something that ultimately leads to destruction. Someone said, “by God’s grace, I strive in the Spirit’s power to put my pride to death and one day, my God will put a full and final end to any pride which remains in me.” Until that day when I see Him face to face, pride will be an ongoing sin I struggle to overcome but not one I will celebrate.
Believers are told in Deuteronomy 6:5 to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” This truth is so important that it was repeated by Jesus (Matthew 22:37). We cannot be focused on pride or sin or the things of this world and truly love God. He should be the priority! Joby Martin explains it like this when he says, “when Jesus is preeminent, when He is before all things, He doesn’t make top of the list. He is the paper on which you write the list so that everything in your world points to Him and Him alone!” That’s the life I want to live and reflect. A life not based on a religion or a doctrine but a life reflective of an intimate relationship with Jesus. A life surrendered to the Holy Spirit that brings life and peace. A life that demonstrates a love for Him that is so great, that there is no need to fill a void in my life with worldly desires or sin. I know I will never be that person completely on this side of heaven because of my sinful nature, but I will, to the best of my ability, run this race as I have been called while pointing those around me to the true prize, a personal relationship with Jesus and to the Truth of His Word and His Grace.
In our home, we will choose to celebrate His grace, His Truth and His love because it is His grace, His Truth and His love that will win in the end! Today I am thankful for a God who is faithful to His promises and who gave the life of His Son for me. His love is the greatest love I know and the only love I need.
He is the paper on which you write the list so that everything in your world points to Him and Him alone!Tweet
““He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24). “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). Therefore, “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (Ephesians 1:7). “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins” (Acts 10:43). The cross of Christ declares my depravity, and delivers me from it. The Christian heart is a broken and forgiven heart.
But something else happened when Jesus died. All his people died with him. When we are united to Christ by faith, his death becomes not only the punishment of our sins, but also the death of our sinful nature. Our old, rebellious, selfish, arrogant nature dies. “You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11).
A new creation comes into being. “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Therefore, “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Being loved by Christ with self-sacrificing love, and dying to our old selfish nature, shapes us into the image of our heavenly Father: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us” (Ephesians 5:1–2).
A new way of disapproving of sin is built into being forgiven, dying to our old nature, and being recreated in Christ. Christians do not stop disapproving of what will destroy people (sin). They start desiring the good of self-destroyers (sinners). Forgiven Christians want others to join them in being forgiven. Hope-filled Christians want others to join them in the hope of glory. Christians rescued at the cost of Christ’s life are willing to sacrifice for the sake of rescuing others.
This includes all others. Our crucified Savior said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27–28). The apostle Paul said, “As we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone” (Galatians 6:10). “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone” (1 Thessalonians 5:15).
This love for all others is rooted in, and formed by, the sacrifice of Christ. His sacrificial servant-heart forms ours. Paul put it like this:
In humility count others more significant than yourselves. . . . Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant . . . to the point of death. (Philippians 2:3–8)
Counting others more significant than ourselves does not mean approving of what they feel or do. It means becoming a servant of their forgiveness, their rescue, their Christ-exalting hope. Christians do not bear ill will toward any. We live for the good of all.”