HOP March 23 - Brandon
Saints or Sinners?
I had some challenging interactions with people this week, they were not fair, they were not reasonable and I had great anger. Just another week where the Lord is using a situation in my life to teach me something. Unfortunately I was walking according to the standards of this world and when that did not work out for me that is where the anger came from. After a couple days of praying through my situation the Lord brought me to this verse in the book of Luke. Luke 6:27-36, I don’t have space to write all of it here but I would encourage you all to take a look at this passage. “Love your enemies....pray for those who abuse you” and “even sinners love those who love them...even sinners lend to sinners....but love your enemies...be merciful.”
Many of you are like me I am sure and this isn’t a passage that is new to you, but it sure is hard to apply!! The main point Jesus is making here is that we are to hold to a different standard than sinners. Therefore what is considered fair to this world is not all that is expected of us but much more. When treated badly, to love; to be generous to those who don’t deserve it; to be kind even in the midst of abuse. So how about the why and the how? Why? Because at the end of this passage it says “be merciful, even as your father is merciful.” The reason we are to do this is because God first showed us mercy and saved us even as we were rebelling against him in sin. How can we do this? I think we are made able to do this because instead of our identity being found in ourselves and our own accomplishments and merits or on how other people see us - our identity is instead formed by our sonship. Knowing that we are loved by our heavenly Father and that he gives us grace to live to his standard. This is what strengthens us to live as saints, different than those around us.
Join with me in prayer, “Lord I pray for our church, that we would all be reminded of your mercy and love for us even while we were sinning. Lord by your grace remind us all of your standard for us that our lives and actions would be a testimony to the grace you have first given to us. Father, by the same grace that you first extended to us, we pray that you would remind us all of our identity and value that is founded in our adoption by you. Come and fill us this day with a new portion of the Holy Spirit that we may live to your glory. Amen.”