Allow me to draw you a word picture today; all that Christ has done for us, and all that we are in Christ is to be continually refocused and returned back to God through obedience, serving others, forbearance, overlooking hurtful offenses and so on. All these responses are actually evidence of the love of Christ that wells up within us like a geyser is passionately lived out for His glory and overflows onto others in our lives.
Often those people who benefit from the reflection of our love for Jesus Christ are people who we have conflict with, such as spouses with whom we have discord, children who are ungrateful, co-workers and employers who take advantage of us.
Our view of their response to our graciousness changes radically when our motive for doing these things changes. You see, if I am serving others for the glory of God then does it matter if I am appreciated? If I am obeying and submitting to a harsh authority because of Christ, and because it pleases Him then is it going to be bearable?
I maintain that when my goal for all I do in life is to glorify God then nothing else matters. God receives my spiritual acts of worship (Romans 12:1) and I experience joy because man’s response just doesn’t matter anymore! It has ceased to be about me and my feelings and my wants and my perceived needs and it is now all about Him. It is how I can bring Him glory in living my daily life.
You have no idea what freedom there is in living for Him! I am freed from the shackles of performance oriented Christianity. In living for Him there is no more fear of man, for since I am behaving in ways that are God focused all those around me are reaping the harvest of my love for God and my obedience to His Word.
I have little tolerance anymore with the whole “God is displeased with me” theology. It is such bondage to think that way because it leads to living under a cloud of constant condemnation.
People who are under such teaching are fearful of God’s punishment for their failures, they are afraid of being “out of fellowship” with God as they are in the process of progressive sanctification as though God would be against them for ongoing struggles with sin. If you are a person who lives in fear of God I have great news for you- a true believer can never be “out of fellowship” with God because my fellowship with God never depended on me in the first place! Before Christ saved us we were all out of fellowship with Him, living in darkness, sons of perdition, and destined for hell.
The only thing that changed our present and our future is that God reached down into our pathetic lives and redeemed us. It was all of Him and nothing of me.
Was I responsible to respond to His call? Yes, but He even assured that I would respond by His irresistible call on our lives. In the instant that the salvation that Christ bought for me by His blood was completed I was instantly brought into the Light, adopted, redeemed, sanctified, justified, and guaranteed that I will be one day glorified.