So…. we’re sitting in bible study yesterday at SouthPoint Fellowship Church with Pastor Calhoun and we’re going through I Kings, discussing the story of how Solomon became king… then, we drift over into discussing how we are to respond to being wronged.
Again, the lesson of responding to people, especially other believers, as Christ responds to you isn’t new to me. It’s been an amazing lesson learned and a very tough yet beneficial lesson applied to different relationships, in every area of life. Responding to others the way God responds to us heals relationships, covers sin, and allows for stronger, more sound forever relationships. But, last night… we talked about being “gripped” by the truth of what it truly means to understand how we are treated by God.
Ironically, on the way to Bible study, Thomas and I had gotten into a fight (no need to make it sound pretty… it wasn’t a disagreement, a debate, or a “discussion”! lol). Before walking into Bible study, I sat in the car and prayed – brought my sin before him and when I wanted to complain about Thomas’ behavior, God reminded me of mine and how forgives me with no ifs, ands, or buts.
And, that’s where being “gripped” begins. (I learned that concept last night!)
Understanding that the only way you find forgiveness is at the foot of the cross, focusing the eyes of your heart on Christ alone for his grace, mercy, and forgiveness for the things you have done. It’s very difficult to be angry and feeling justified for that anger when you are at the feet of Christ – the one who had all the justification in the world to spew venom, anger, and condemnation for all that they had done to Him. But, instead, he willingly forgave and even asked God to forgive them, as well. He still thought of & served others while He was being punished for what I would do. I can feel nothing but fear and do nothing but worship at such acts of selflessness and grace.
Gripped by such truth and the humility of Christ can do nothing but humble and still you. How can you go to God fussing about another, refusing to forgive, and feeling justified in acting unlovingly & disrespectfully when you have done all that you have? And, he forgives you the way that he does? … that forgiveness isn’t coupled with the silent treatment, refusing to serve, or smart remarks. It comes with peace, a willingness to do, and a active desire to welcome the offender back with open arms as if nothing had ever happened. Why? Because, that’s exactly what Christ does for us.
And, today… I was reminded of 2 things:
1. Galations 6:9-10 (the picture above)….. WHOA!!!!!!!!!!!! Every opportunity…. which means, the good opportunites that make it easy to do Christ-right by others and the ever difficult ones that glorify God the most when we choose to do Christ-right.
(Christ-right is a little word I made up meaning doing what is right in the sight of God.. regardless of how we feel or what our culture may press us to believe.)
2. Hillsong’s song “Lead Me to the Cross“…. initially, up until today, I always considered this song to be about salvation and accepting God’s love for us. I still believe that that is what it is about. But, today….. I see it as a reminder to treat others Christ-right, take a moment and remember what He has done for us, and an encouragement to do the same for others. The ultimate resolve to treat others in the same way Christ continuously and consistently treats us. It speaks of ridding us of ourselves now that we belong to Him. Isn’t that what we do and WHY we do not grow weary in doing good? Out of the response to His love for us? And, because we belong to Him?
When I am led to the cross in the midst of this life’s challenges, I can’t help but to worship, respond, and FEEL.
Gripped. Challenged. Humbled. Satisfied. Grateful. Loved. Moved. Excited to be more like Him.
His love never gives up. It changes us. Redeems. Matures. Restores. Covers. & outlasts whatever it comes against.
Thank God for the Cross. For salvation and a perfect Savior who gives us the opportunity to show Christ-love and do Christ-right to others. That’s ministry in itself.
… here’s to kneeling, standing, laying face first, bawling, and humbling ourselves at the foot of our Savior knowing that His blood cleanses us, his death saves us, his forgiveness allows us, and love overwhelms us.
… here’s to doing Christ-right and showing Christ to the least of these, the most frustrating of those, and the most demanding of us. And, the faith that won’t allow us to tire out and quit.