This is the final post (#12) in a twelve blog/podcast series entitled REAL LIFE CHRISTIANITY. In this series, we’ll look at very practical matters like how we must learn to love and honor both ourselves and others in order to be the Christ-centered followers the Master wants us to be here in the twenty-first century. Here’s the homepage for the entire series.
Click here to listen to the podcast version of this blog!
Our Lectio Divina for today: 1st Peter 3: 8-12 (MsgB)
Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that’s your job, to bless. You’ll be a blessing and also get a blessing. Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good. Here’s what you do: Say nothing evil or hurtful; snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you’re worth. God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what He’s asked; but He turns His back on those who do evil things.
Over these last two weeks, we’ve been discussing how love (agape love, that is) can be the game-changer when it comes to living out these vitally important leadership roles God gives us as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. You see, from God’s perspective, a person simply cannot compartmentalize their spirituality, being an agape-loving saint on Sunday mornings, but then becoming a self-centered S.O.B. with his or her relationships throughout the rest of the week! If Christ has truly made a radical change in my heart, mind and spirit; that change should be easily seen and experienced by my spouse and my children as well.
So, today’s scripture pretty much sums up our job description in our families:
No sharp-tongued sarcasm.
Say nothing evil or hurtful.
Run after peace.
Guess what our families might look like if more of us Christ-followers would ask the Holy Spirit to indwell us and empower us to simply live out, for the glory of God, these 13 life-changing actions? Heck. Even if I was only able to do half of this list, I’m guessing my world would become one better place for all of us. Don’t you think?
So, that begs the question.
Why in high heaven, since we have the job description right before our eyes, aren’t we doing it? What’s the hang-up here? Why is it that we can all agree on these 13 action steps, nodding our head to the idea that living them out can be life-changing; but yet, we all have such a hard time getting it done?
Some would say it’s our sin. Others might say it’s because of our self-centeredness. Both answers are very valid.
But here’s where I’d like to go with the answer.
Could it be that we are so weak and unable to live out these 13 basic life-lessons that would be life-changers in our homes and families because we really, truly, don’t have a clue on who we really are in Christ?
Hmm. I wonder?
So, with your kind permission…let’s go there. Let’s explore who you and I really are in the eyes of Jesus…men and women of great value in the economy of God’s Kingdom.
I guess I just invited you to another one of our blog/podcast series: Click on this link to explore this subject: Who Are You in Christ?
My prayer: God, I’m convinced. Becoming a follower of Jesus who is motivated by agape love is the way to go. I want to be filled with Your un-ending, un-relenting, un-conditional, un-limited, un-equaled, out-of-this-world type of love! Yet, while I know You want me to live out my relationships utilizing this agape love, I still find it very hard to do just that. Continue working in me and through me, Father. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So before I move onto other subjects…are there any known obstacles in my life that are keeping God’s agape love from moving in and through me? Am I truly open to any and all ways the Holy Spirit might want to flood more of His agape love into me and through me, blessing especially my closest relationships with my spouse and my family?
So what is God speaking to you today as we attempt to live the Christ-centered life?
Thank you for joining us on this journey as we took a deeper look at Real-Life Christianity. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, and for future reference, we suggest you bookmark our blog series home page for ease of use.
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