Almost all Christians will say that they are Christians because they believe in the gospel of Jesus and acknowledge that He is the Son of God and their Savior. Romans 10:9 tells us that we need to confess this truth, but we’re also told that faith without works is dead. We need to do more than just speak it; we need to believe it and live it because this is how we will be God’s influence in this world!
Since God’s spirit lives in us, we are able to study the Bible and get to know Him, and in doing so we become like Him. The things we say and do are a reflection of Christ in us and through us He is able to reach out to the lost people of this world. Our personality becomes like His and we are able to show our love and faithfulness toward Him, and His love and grace toward others.
Giving thanks – 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.” This is God’s will for us regarding our daily walk with Him. We begin every day by thanking Him for our salvation, but our thanks doesn’t stop with one prayer. We thank Him for everything in our life throughout the day as we see His goodness and His intervention in our lives. Even in the bad things we give Him thanks because we know that He will bring us through them and that because of them we will serve Him better.
Love each other – John 13:34-35 says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” God tells us that we are to love each other – not to put each other down and not to dissect each other as if we were a science project, but to love our brothers and sisters in Christ in spite of their faults or their short comings. It grieves God when His children accuse each other; it brings Him great joy when He sees us working together in love.
Forgive each other – Matthew 6:15 says, “But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Sometimes we get a little self-righteous and feel we have the right to treat others with less respect because of offences they have done to us. But if God can forgive us for our sins that nailed Him to the cross, then surely we can forgive others who have hurt us, and then treat them with the same loving kindness that He gives to us.
Don’t judge each other – Matthew 7:1-5 says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
Too often we get the messages of judging confused, and whereas God has told us to judge the doctrine and the teacher of doctrines so that we don’t get caught up with a false gospel (1 John 4:1), we tend to judge everyone for everything they do or say and feel justified in condemning them. However, God has not given us the right to judge anyone’s life as only He knows the heart of man and only He will open the Book of Life to read whose names are in there. Life is journey toward God for all of us and we walk at different paces and carry different baggage and have different circumstances in life to endure. None of us want to have the judgment of another person interfere with our walk toward Heaven so let’s not be their stumbling block, either.
Be patient with others – 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says, “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.” We sometimes forget what other people are going through or that they may not know or understand God as we do, and we are quick to lose our patience with them. But this is not God’s will; after all, when we look at our own lives truthfully, we’ll see that throughout our Christian life and even today, we survive because God is patient with us. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect because that won’t happen until we’re with Jesus, so we need to be patient and kind to others, as well.
Realize that we are all sinners – Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Every one of us lives each day in God’s grace and we need to realize that it’s only because of His love and grace that we are saved. Not one of us is deserving of a home in Heaven with Jesus, but He loves us so much that He was willing to die in our place (John 3:16) so we would be free of all sin and be with Him throughout eternity. That should humble each of us to an attitude of gratitude so that we never exalt ourselves and so we’ll always remember that we, too, are a sinner who has been forgiven and saved by grace.
Show mercy – James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” When God’s spirit lives in us our personality and characteristics become like His, and it is natural for us to have a kind, gentle heart that treats others as Christ treats us. He has shown us mercy through the cross and we need to show mercy to others and always remember that if God didn’t have mercy toward us, we would not be saved in the first place. If it’s true that we reap what we sow then we need to sow mercy.
Give without expecting anything in return – Matthew 10:8 says, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Our salvation was a gift from God. He gave it to us because He loves us so much, so we need to have this same attitude toward giving to others. There is no material possession or earthly status or spectacular event that comes close to the gift of life He gave at the cross. This earth is not our home; we’re just passing through. And so nothing on this earth should prevent us from sharing and giving to others.
Bless those who come against us – Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’” Christians are often ridiculed or persecuted for their beliefs and it’s sometimes easy to just hate those who hurt us, but God wants us to pray for them instead. Our prayers will not only bring peace to us in a stressful situation, but it just may bring those to Christ who cause that stress. God loved them enough to die for them – just as He loved us enough to die for us – and to influence the world with His love we need to possess this same virtue so He can work through us and get them saved, too. If it’s too hard to pray honestly for them, then we should ask God to give us a love for them so that we can pray.
As we mature in the Lord it becomes so much easier to walk the walk than it does to talk the talk! And when we see people through God’s eyes we are able to be a witness for Him everywhere we go. We will be able to influence others and show them the love of God through how we live our lives and how we treat others.
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” … 1 John 4:7-11
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