Monday, January 30, 2012
Show the Way
“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16
God never calls us to continue living like we did before. He always calls us to live an exemplary life, one that will display His love, mercy and grace. He calls us to not only follow Him but to show others how to follow Him through our words and actions.
We can’t follow Him and be “Closet Christians.” We are fooling ourselves if we think we can act like Jesus on Sunday and then go back to pleasing ourselves and the world on Monday. Those of us who live that way will, in the end, hear God say, “depart, I do not know you.”
Live as God wants us to live. Love everyone as Jesus loves us. This doesn’t mean we must like what they do; it means we must separate the person from the action. We must recognize that everyone is created by God, so we must love them and help them to see the error of their ways with gentleness and compassion. We must also extend to them the same mercy Jesus extends to us. We can’t take revenge on those who hurt us, physically or emotionally, and expect God to show us mercy when we hurt others.
Because of the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, God graciously adopts us into His family when we accept His gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus and commit ourselves to following His lead. His grace overlooks our mistakes and considers them erased. So part of following His lead is extending this same grace to our fellow human beings.
All people are created by God and made in His image. He does not make some good and some bad. We choose how to live our lives and must deal with consequences. And His word tells us what those consequences will be, so we shouldn’t be surprised when our selfish actions result in less than perfect outcomes.