Grace For The Jourrney
Those of us who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ’s atoning work on our behalf must be careful and not think that this amazing, gracious salvation is all about “me.” To be sure, we were saved individually . . . BUT we were saved to be involved in the Body of Christ, His church. The Bible talks about this in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free . . . .” Every believer is needed and valuable. As Bible believing followers of Christ, you and I have received instructions for how we are to treat one another.
Here are just a few examples:
- We are to love one another (John 13:34)
- We are to honor one another (Romans 12:10)
- We are to serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- We are to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2)
- We are to forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32)
- We are to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
- We are to pray for one another (James 5:16)
One of the distinguishing marks of the early church that caught the eye of the watching world was the way the Christians carried out this “one another” principle in their local church families. They continually devoted themselves to meeting others in their place of need. The Gospel truths helped them rise above the natural sinful human tendencies for self-service and self-protection. Instead, they lived lives marked by self-sacrifice, regardless of the cost or circumstance.
Can the same be said about you and me? What would those closest to us say about the visible evidences of self-sacrifice in our lives right now?
Here is what we must keep in view . . .
We love because He first loved us.
We forgive because He first forgave us.
We are kind and gracious because He has been merciful and gracious to us.
Are there people in your life you find hard to love, forgive, or accept? Love them anyway! Are there people in your life you simply cannot bring yourself to forgive? Choose to forgive them because Christ has forgiven you and asks you to. Are there people in your life you find difficult to carry out the “one another” principle? Ask God to do that through you!
You see, the key to living by the “one anothering” principle
Is to fix our hearts on the One who, in spite of our sin,
Loves us, honors us, served us, forgives us,
carries our burdens, walks with us, and works through us!
When we keep God’s mercy in our hearts and His love in our lives, how can we not be merciful and loving in the lives of others? Jesus took our place on the cross and paid the penalty for our sins . . . past, present, and still to come. And don’t forget this: while He hung, bleeding and dying on that cruel cross, Jesus cried out to His Father in heaven, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).
That truth – that amazing love and grace – should set us free to put others first and lay our lives down for others. The “one another” principles were the marks of the early Christians and they should be what mark us and set us apart today. This is the foundation upon which a life of devotion to Christ is to be built.
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”