Hope for Today will inspire you to live a life connected to Christ by empowering you to fall in love with Jesus through personal spiritual growth. Teaching you the power of your identity and authority in Christ. Encouraging you in your inheritance as an ambassador for the kingdom of God!
…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Not long ago, our youngest lovebug told a young man she was ‘talking’ too that if he started coming around to our house to expect to have a conversation about Jesus. I love that!
I use to be an in your face Jesus freak. Oh, I’m still a Jesus freak but then I met grace and grace completely dissolved the legalistic world view I had. As a believer in Christ I believe it is important to realize and understand that, unless God has opened up the mind of someone yet to believe, they can’t understand the revelation of Scripture because they don’t yet have Holy Spirit living in them. For that matter, I believe many of us who do have Holy Spirit living in us don’t take the time to consistently dig deep and have a relationship with the holy Scriptures. They, the Scriptures, are alive and crying out to have a conversation with us.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
You see, Scripture is Jesus and having a relationship with Scripture is nurturing a deep and intimate relationship with Christ.
What we’ll find when we talk with Scripture is that God loves all his creation and he wants none to perish but all to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Is this going to happen if we spout our frustration about current world events all over social media? I can assuredly tell you, “no, it is not.” And the reason it is not is because you are spouting to a world that doesn’t understand. The change you want to see happen begins with you and it begins with me.
2 Chronicles 7:14 above confirms this for us. Are you called by the Name Jesus Christ? Then it is your responsibility to humble yourself, to pray and seek God and turn from your wicked ways. Yes, you are forgiven of all your sins and yes sin no longer identifies who you are, but we still sin and we are to confess and repent of our sins because sin stands in the way of our fellowship with God. (1 John 1:8-10). Here is the best part, when we take responsibility for these things God promises to forgive our sins and heal our land! Not simply heal but completely heal, which is the original context of the word and land is not only physical land but the people in the land!
We can’t cause anyone to have a relationship with Jesus, that is Holy Spirit’s job, but we can live our life is such a way that others notice the difference and want to know more about why we seem different. Those are the moments we pray for; moments to share Jesus in a loving and grace filled way not an in your face beat them over the head way.
Precious One be the change you want to see in your sphere of influence and ask God to multiply that around the world. Jabez did and God granted his request.
Sometimes I believe we mix up tough love with God’s grace, especially when it comes to our children. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences for their unwise choices or actions, but it is how we mete out those consequences that make the difference between tough love and grace.
Grace is God’s unmerited favor, but even more than that grace is God’s favor freely extended to us because He gives Himself away to us and others and is always leaning toward his beautiful creation that is created in the image of Him.
I think of the Samaritan woman at the well, who had been married at least four times and was living with a man that was not her husband. She was an outcast and wouldn’t go to gather water from the well in the cool of the morning with the other women because she was shunned and judged by them. Instead, she would wait until the hottest part of the day, when no one else would be there and she could gather her water in a bit of peace. Then she met Him, the Man, who would die an excruciating death of pain and asphyxiation nailed to a cross for her sins, my sins and your sins. Yet, what did Jesus do? He offered her grace and set the foundation for a culture of honor.
A culture of honor is where we recognize that we all fall short of the glory of God and realize that we all mess up and sometimes those mess ups have consequences and to give those consequence in a way that honors God and not simply feels like the right thing to do. Many times the consequences in a culture of honor feel counter cultural to what society says we should do. But Jesus was radical in his thinking, perhaps that is part of the reason the Pharisee’s didn’t like Jesus, because he didn’t play by their rules. Jesus also calls us to think like him.
But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16b.
Which means we have the intellect to receive God’s thoughts through faith, which also means we must stay connected to God consistently to create a culture of honor in our homes and in our communities.
Precious One, you and I, we deserved to die that torturous death on the cross but Jesus took our place. That’s grace and grace is what we ought to extend to others, nothing less. Even when, no, especially when the actions of others are deserving of consequences.