I can’t give up on the church because, as messy as she is, she’s His idea. Jesus died for her, was raised for her, and commissioned her to be light in the darkness and love to the lost until he comes back to fix it all.
Jesus modeled selflessness in relationships. While he lived in a healthy rhythm in life, he also gave of his time and his touch to as many people as he could. He eventually laid down his very life as a ransom for all people. Surely we can lay aside our right to be first, right, or best for the benefit of others.
Live for an audience of One and bask in the sweetness of the knowledge that you matter, that you are loved, and that God wants to use you in the middle of the mess. Keep loving Jesus. Keep loving people. And be that rare bright spot in someone’s day.
Life may get hard, but in your weakness, God’s strength will always shine through. Always.
God knows what is best, and it often doesn’t align with our view of what is best. He gives us growth through suffering and loss. His timing is also better, and many of his best gifts won’t be enjoyed until Jesus comes again and makes everything right.
I don’t have to live under sin’s tyranny any longer. I don’t have to walk in fear and anxiety over my eternal destiny. I don’t have to succumb to temptation. I can pray and connect with God. I can enjoy a foretaste of heaven to come. I can walk in the confidence that I am God’s child, that he is my Father, and that I’m on my way home for good.
In our modern, western culture, we’re taught a lot about individuality and personal responsibility. So much so, in fact, that if we’re not careful, we’ll simply live looking out for our own needs instead of the needs of those around us, which is antithetical to the way Jesus lived and challenged us to live.
The next time you battle temptation, remember this simple challenge: Win! No matter how small the victory, winning now will set you up to win again.
If you lean toward sinful thoughts, the inevitable result will be sinful actions, which will produce a sinful lifestyle. If you lean into the Holy Spirit, the inevitable result will be a life filled with the good, fresh fruit that only the Spirit can produce.
One of the greatest ways that you can use your tongue is to speak up on behalf of those who are poor. To speak up on behalf of those who are oppressed. To speak up on behalf of those who are buried under the weight and the pain created by other people, by systems, by culture and to speak on behalf of those who are not always able to speak on their own behalf.