Few churches teach the fundamentals of our Christian faith anymore. Instead of learning crucial doctrines in our Bible studies and Sunday education classes, women are fed weak material to “fill our love cup” or meet our latest felt needs. Consequently, many women have no real idea what has been done for us, who we now are in Christ, or how to live. As a result, I see women wandering through life defeated, discouraged, in despair, and unable to live in the victory they have in Christ.
There Is Hope.
It was when I began to learn many things about God’s grace that God began to open my eyes to the truth of the believer’s position in Jesus Christ, the certainty of our eternal destiny, and the permanent and total salvation we have in Christ. These truths were not new to me; I had learned them throughout my Christian life. What was new was what changed in the application of these truths to my life!
Since I began to understand these things, I have grown to know Him. His sovereignty, His grace, and mercy have changed the whole focus of my life! It is not about me- it is all about Him. And it genuinely is about Him. You have probably heard that phrase before, but do you have any idea what that means to live this truth out? I maintain that when my goal for all I do in life is to glorify God, nothing else matters. God receives my spiritual acts of worship (Romans 12:1), and I experience joy because man’s response doesn’t matter anymore! It has ceased to be about me, my feelings, 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.
Allow me to draw you a word picture; all that Christ has done for us and that we are in Christ is to be continually refocused and returned to God through obedience, serving others, forbearance, and overlooking hurtful offenses, and so on. These responses are evidence of the love of Christ that wells up within us, and like a geyser, is passionately lived out for His glory and overflows onto others in our lives.
I can submit to difficult authorities in my life because the focus of my submission is not that person; it is Christ! As I submit to Christ out of love, I am obeying Him as well, but my obedience is not out of fear of punishment or condemnation. On the contrary, it is out of love. Of course, people in my life, including the problematic people, will benefit from my obedient submission, but they are not my focus; Jesus is.
Often, those who benefit from the reflection of our love for Jesus Christ are people we have a conflict with, such as spouses with whom we have discord, ungrateful children, co-workers, and employers who take advantage of us. Our view of their response to our graciousness radically changes when our motive for doing these things changes. If I am serving others for the glory of God, 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, will it be bearable?
When I determine to serve others, it must be out of love for how He has sacrificed for me. What greater love is there than a person who serves others by laying down their own life? (John 15:3) As I help and serve, I have learned to check my heart! Am I doing the work primarily to serve Jesus, or is it for the praise of others? I am determined to live a life of “One Anothering” out of gratitude and love for what has been done for me by Christ. In turn, others benefit from my love for Christ tangibly.
When someone hurts me or offends me, I can give them grace. Not every offense demands a reaction or confrontation. This doesn’t mean I consent to abuse, but overlooking offenses is another tremendous blessing of having a deeper understanding of Him. Since He is always before me and always lavishing His grace on me, would I not be loving Him by being gracious toward others?
You see, when I stop looking at my circumstances through secular eyes and begin to put on those eyes that are only for Jesus, beautiful things start to happen in my inner man, in what the Bible calls my heart. I begin to see through my acting righteously despite my fears that Jesus is enough! He becomes real to me, and His sustaining power is realized as I can make it through challenging circumstances because He is enough to carry me. Jesus is faithful, and He is enough to meet every need I have.