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Jeremiah 33:6 “Behold, I will bring it healing and cure, and I will cure them, and I will reveal to them a greeting of peace and truth.”
Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.“
Peace and truth. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
We all fall short. Those who profess to be God loving, Jesus following saved people and those who are not. However, momentary lapses are far different from a constant and regular pattern of speech and behavior.
Hiding behind an online presence on “social media” and spewing insensitive comments and commentary about real life, current day issues? That is far more than simply airing a viewpoint or sharing information. That is hate speech and it is unfathomable how anyone believes this is becoming of any person, never mind one who professes to be a follower of Jesus/a Christian.
The insensitivity and crass commentary is not limited to online either.
Compassion is a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is hurting, in pain, or has misfortune and is accompanied by a strong desire to help the suffering. It is not always easy to show compassion, especially when we feel strongly about the issue(s) surrounding the situation. However, if I am who I say I am, a follower of Jesus, a Christian… (as an aside, I happen to be a Christian who is also Jewish, and a first generation American woman of European descent), Colossians 3 “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Psalm 116:5 “The Lord is gracious and righteous, and our God is merciful.” And for one who professes to love God and follow Him, if God is gracious, righteous (moral) and merciful, that is who we are called to emulate. For one who professes to be saved, a Christian, we, our self-focused, pompous, ungodly self has died and we have been given a new life, in Jesus. We understand the exchange that occurred at salvation. We understand our inheritance that is of far more value than anything money could buy.
Only God is the ultimate judge of someone’s heart. However, what I say and do, and what you say and do, we are representing who we claim to be. Matthew 7:16 “You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” 1 Samuel 24:14 Tanach (24:13 OT) “As says the proverb of the ancient one; ‘From the wicked comes forth wickedness,’ and my hand shall not be upon you.”
Historically people claiming to be Christians have done horrific things in the name of Jesus, certainly given Jesus and Christianity a bad name. People watch how other’s react and behave in and through many different situations. We all do that. Many times it is that watching that draws people to us and opens minds and hearts to learn about God, Jesus, the gospel. And many times it is that watching that draws people away from us and what we claim to represent.
1 Corinthians 1:20 “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God. You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Do we realize the depth of what it means that God gave us salvation? Do we realize that we are not our own, removed now from death in it’s permanent eternal state, purchased by the final atonement, the propitiation, our savior, Jesus. No more covering. It is finished. Do we realize how intense that is? (Our Glorious Inheritance)
Glorifying God in one’s body carries a ton of meanings and situations. One of which is our tongue. Another our fingers as we type across the keyboard on social media. Another of which is how we treat our bodies in all aspects of our treatment of them. Another is carrying the rights we have been granted by God with dignity and respect. Glorify God in all we do to the best of our human ability. Humble ourselves before the majesty of God. Humbles ourselves and the Lord will exalt. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Romans 6 “Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
I pray for myself and for each one of you this day, that our walk becomes deeper in the truth of what it means to be God’s redeemed.