I miss you. I miss hearing what God is doing in your life, your hunger for the Gospel and your crazy obedience to Jesus. I don’t see you anymore, and being so, I don’t know how you are. How is your heart? How is your obedience?
“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” – Philippians 1:27
How do we do that? How are we spending our days, our months and our years? Do our lives have this manner that is worthy of Jesus? Do we live with the power of His presence in us and His love flowing out of us?
Only. This one thing. If we don’t do anything else, is our way of life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
We can have a great reputation of being alive, when we are dead inside. Are we remembering to fan into flame the gift of God that is in us?
As one body of Christ, with many different functions, as individual members, we belong one to another. Our gifts differ according to the grace given to us and Romans 12:6 says, “let us use them.” Prophecy, serving, exhortation, giving, leading with zeal and acts of mercy are different gifts that belong to each of us.
But, we hold back. We forget the other members need us as much as we need them. We fail to contribute. Maybe it is apathy, inadequacy, fear, failure, time or some other excuse. Our holding back creates disconnections and disappointment from our disobedience of belonging to one another. Our contributions are used as growth for the body of Christ because we are one in Christ. How can we profess our faith in Jesus and not live as one with one another?
Jesus wants to change our hearts. To change our focus. We have been concerned about the wrong things. We have lost time to encourage one another and care for one another in the name of Jesus. We are missing the fullness of the treasure Jesus prayed for us. When we do not live as one, we miss experiencing how Jesus is one with the Father.
If we love Jesus, don’t we want all of it?! How can we live in a mediocre way? Why are we not starving for Him and sharing His goodness every single day? Why would we waste any moments?
Romans 12 shares marks of a true Christian:
• let love be genuine
• hate evil
• cling to what is good
• love one another with brotherly affection
• outdo one another in showing honor
• don’t be lazy in zeal
• be fervent in Spirit
• serve the Lord
• rejoice in hope
• be patient in affliction
• be constant in prayer
• contribute to the needs of the saints
• seek to show hospitality
• bless those who persecute you
• bless and do not curse
• rejoice with those who rejoice
• weep with those who weep
• live in harmony with one another
• don’t be haughty and associate with lowly
• never be wise in your own sight
• repay no one evil for evil
• give thought to what is honorable in the sight of all
• as far as it depends on you, live at peace with all people
• never avenge yourselves, leave it to God’s wrath
• if your enemy is in need, care for him
• overcome evil with good
Sisters, this is the life I want to share with you, the place where we belong to one another and we are one in Jesus as His body. Hold me to His standards and help me live a life that demonstrates the marks of a true follower of Christ. I don’t know how to do it and I need His help through you.
Can we make time for one another? Can we trust one another so deeply that when we hear from Jesus, we can share with one another, even at the risk of wounding, because we believe that wounds from a friend can be trusted? Can we risk contributing our gifts because we believe God wants us to grow from one another? Can we push each other to love Jesus so much that we are comfortable being different from the world? Can we stop caring about things that don’t matter for eternity and expose our blind spots to one another for the things we are caring about that do not matter?
How do I explain? I want to be crazy for Jesus with you. I long to lay down my life with you and for you. I want you to know that you belong to me and I belong to you. I want to share Jesus,with people, with you. I want us to grow together, walk through the refiners fire together, suffer and endure hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus beside one another. I want to serve with you. I want to learn everything you are learning from Jesus and I want to tell you what I’m learning. I want to sacrifice and obey together. We can be more effective together. We can hold up each other’s arms when we are weak. We can spur each other on when we want to quit. We can speak truth, in love, to one another. We can pray together. We can see God do miracles because we believe together. We can grow our faith, hope and endurance together.
Our future may be one more day or 50 more years and I want to journey it with you. I want to turn grey with you. I want to give my life away with you. I want us to care for one another. I want to see more people come to know Jesus. I want us to baptize people. I want to see us look less and less like this world. I want us to look more like Jesus tomorrow than we do today. I want Him to use us completely so that when we go we’ve given everything for the sake of His name. I want you to challenge me to live more simply every day. I want you to push me to pray without ceasing and hide the Word of God in my heart. I want you to expose my yuck and push me behind Christ when I try to get in front of Him. And if ever I start to walk away from Jesus, for the cares of this world, I want you to tackle me to the ground and wake me up.
I love you sisters. God has more for us. Let’s go for it. He has called us. He has chosen us. He has a purpose for our lives. He has given us gifts from His grace. Please, let’s keep running.
“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.”
– 1 Corinthians 16:23-24