I am a Christian and yet, I can be prone to wander. I can be prone to seek my own interests. I can be prone to desire worldly pleasures. I can be prone to seek gains rather than give gifts. I can be prone to isolate, rather than congregate, and I can be prone to control, rather than surrender – and so I wonder, what hope is there for me (Psalms 119:176)?
Then I remember a beautiful hymn’s declaration, “nothing but the blood of Jesus“! Truly, only He can restore me, and although I may be prone to stray, when I act on what I know, pursue Him, seek Him and desire Him, He is faithful in refreshing my soul to maintain the course He has changed me for and called me to:
Loving: Since the world can often confuse love with lusts, it can be difficult at times to distinguish the real thing. Biblical love however has little to do with feeling. Rather, it is a reflection of our heart’s commitment to healing. For example, are we willing to sacrifice our feelings, wants and desires for the best interests of others; and are we willing to forgive first, overlook injuries and surrender our pride to pursue reconciliations? Not that we are to be pushovers and seekers of abuse, but are we willing to love to the degree of our Father and give of ourselves to the point of sacrifice (Philippians 2:2-4)?
Leading: When leaders of integrity are lacking, we shouldn’t be surprised when things start slacking. However, leadership begins with who we decide to follow – and as long as it’s not Jesus Christ, evil doesn’t care. For where Jesus is cast aside, decay will reside. This includes our churches, culture, communities and countries (Revelations 2:3-5).
Lifting: Insecurity can often cause us to distance ourselves from others, or feed our desire for dominance. However, true confidence found in our relationship with Christ empowers us to reach out to others, encourage them and lift them up to greater heights. We see their potential in Christ and allow our gifts to be used for God’s glory as we seek to help others and not just ourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
Application: “Like Jesus Does” – 1 John 2:6
A country song by the same title speaks to the love of a wife that mirrors the love of Jesus. She forgives him when he stumbles and continues to see the best in him, despite his imperfections. I have been blessed to receive this type of love in my life, but the question is, do we love the same? Or do we cast judgement on the flaws of others while refusing to address our own? My prayer is to see others like Jesus does – and despite the fumbles, desire to love them, lead them and lift them…like Jesus does. For only through Him do Divine changes come.