Thursday, March 17, 2016

Love Life

          We forget how precious life is until we hear of someone's death or learn of their terminal illness. We go about our day as if tomorrow is promised and all our wants, desires and dreams are going to happen according to plan. But no where in the Bible does God promise us a tomorrow on this earth. He promises those that believe in Him an eternal home with Him, but not one here on this earth. Today is all we got.

          This truth became very real to me last night as I learned that one of my sisters in Christ is fighting for her life right now. The news hit me abruptly because I haven't been in daily communication with her for some time. We chat and respond to one another on social media, but other than that we kind of lost touch. As I read the prayer request for her I was convicted. I was convicted because (I am going to be brutally honest with myself before the Lord and fess up to this sin) I have spoken against her in the past. Throughout our relationship I have gotten into gossip about her, and have been the start of gossip about her. There have been times when she has gotten on my nerves and I have spoken ill about her to others, and there have been times when I have ignored her prayer requests, her posts and her friendship. All these moments came flooding back into my mind and I was humbled by my sins against her, and against my God. Even though I didn't always like her, her life is and always will be precious to God our Father. What right do I have to treat her any other way than how God sees her?
"And if you call on Him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of you exile knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." 
1 Peter 1:17-19 ESV
           If I call Him my Father and I believe that He is Creator of all life then no matter if someone believes or not, He is still their Father too. They were created by Him, for Him and to be in relationship with Him. I am no better, nor am I so spiritual that someone's life is not as valuable as mine. Every time I speak ill, speak against or even think negative thoughts about another person, I am standing before God saying that I am better than that person is. I put myself in the place of God who alone judges impartially. 
          Peter teaches us that God, our Father, and their Father, judges impartially. He doesn't weigh my goodness against their goodness. He doesn't look at all their works and compare them to mine. He doesn't compare us to one another, He compares each one of us to Christ. I don't know about you, but I fall pretty short in that comparison.
Life is short my friends. It is but for a moment. Our conduct on this earth is just as important to our Lord as is our faith in Him. If we believe He is Lord and Creator of all then our whole conduct, not just our deeds, but our thoughts, and our words must reflect what we say we believe. Living our lives, our very short existence upon this earth in fear of Him who holds our conduct up and compares it to His Son's, who gave His precious life for ours.
"Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,"
 1 Peter 3:22
          A sincere love for one another. A love that not only speaks it, but believes it, thinks it and does it. Love is not the hugs on Sunday and the fake smiles that pat you on the back and tell you how happy they are to see you. Love is in the trenches. Love carries itself throughout the week. But how do we know if our love is sincere? One way I learned to test my love was to go through 1 Corinthians 13 and make it personal. Take a minute to do this for yourself. Let's see how sincere we truly are when it comes to loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. 
Where you see the ______insert your name.
______is patient and kind; does not envy or boast; is not arrogant or rude.
______does not insist on its own way
______is not irritable or resentful
______does not rejoice at wrongdoing; but rejoices with the truth
______bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
______'s love never ends.
          This is the standard God holds us to when it comes to loving His children, His creation. I don’t know about you but I fail miserably, every single day. I thank God for Jesus Christ my Lord who saved me from this wretched body of sin and death! But the end result is that we should really be sincere in our love for one another and stop this tearing down and pushing around of our fellow brothers and sisters. We all need Jesus. I don't need Him less than you do, I probably need Him more! You are not so spiritual that you have passed the test with flying colors. We all stink at being Christians, so let's just fess up to it and move on, striving to be the people God wants us to be instead of expecting everyone else to be who we are not willing to be.

          What someone does, or does not do does not give us the right to treat them with little to no respect. I have no right to respond in any way except to love. My negative thoughts turn into gossip and negative words which then turn into fake love from a sinful heart, instead of sincere love from a pure heart. Life is precious to God, and therefore must be precious to us, His children as well. All life is precious to God, what right do we have to speak against it? Love with a sincere heart my fellow brothers and sisters, because this life is so very short. Amen?