We throw it away too easily. I’m not talking about stuff. I’m talking about people and relationships – things with eternal value. Our marriage is difficult, so we divorce and go spouse shopping. Our job is no longer fulfilling, so we get a new one. Parenting is unrewarding, so we ignore our children and pour ourselves into other people or things. Church leadership and the people aren’t perfect, so we go and find a new one or even give up on church completely. If a valuable friend disappoints, we just throw away the relationship and look for new friends.
People aren’t always loving and pleasant. Circumstances can be crushing. You may live with a spouse that isn’t loving or supportive. You may even feel that you have fallen out of love with them. You may have a young person in your home that continually rebels and causes chaos and heartache. Your job may be going nowhere or you might work under persecution. Your friend might betray or reject you. Life is full of turmoil and much of the consequences are outside of our control. So what then?
We must live for something that is bigger than ourselves. We must stop living as though our ease and comfort are the gods that we serve. We must serve the living God by spreading the Gospel. I’m not necessarily telling you to start handing out Christian Gospel tracks wherever you go – although you certainly can. I’m telling you to also spread grace and mercy generously around your sphere of influence. Stop spending your energy on focusing on the wrong that is being done to you or the whims of your heart and start using that energy on doing the right thing. Serve that spouse that has been hurtful to you – don’t do it because they deserve it – do it because you are serving the living God. Go to that difficult job and look for ways to be kind to others and be the best employee that you can be. Challenge your young rebellious person and lovingly hold them accountable. Forgive your friend and move on with them if possible and be the best friend that you can be to others too.
With these writings, I am assuming that I’m talking to an audience that has put their trust in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. If you have not, you must start there. Living for any other ultimate purpose is futile. The Bible says that we have all sinned and that the required payment for sin is death (eternal separation from God). You can have abundant life, joy, freedom, hope and victory from the sting of death. Put your trust in Jesus’ completed work on the cross and His powerful resurrection. He has already paid for your sins – reach out and accept His gift to you – His gift of sacrificial love.
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