Faith: Being a Christian means loving God and people
We just celebrated another Resurrection Sunday remembering the tremendous price Jesus paid to set us free to be able live life in the Kingdom of God. In May we will remember Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to live in believers and the Kingdom of God began to expand exponentially (Acts chapter 2).
Jesus said this about the Holy Spirit: If you love Me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:15-18)
Peter affirms Jesus’ words when he says: Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
If we love Him by keeping His commands, we need to know what Jesus’ commands are. He said, “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). He also said the greatest commandment was to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. (Luke 10:25-37)
Being a Christian means being a lover of God and of people. I don’t know about you, but I’m not able to do either the way God wants it done. When He says “love,” He means agape … His steadfast sacrificial zeal that seeks the true good of another. My only hope of ever loving steadfastly and sacrificially is by relying on His Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
Peter gives us another component of being a Christian: But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. (1 Peter 3:15)
Our hope is for based on the character of the One we love and believe in. The One who said, “For I know what I have planned for you,” says the Lord. “I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. When you call out to me and come to me in prayer, I will hear your prayers. When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,” says the Lord.
Being a Christian means living a life full of hope, inexpressible joy, peace and contentment that will cause others to ask us how we can live that way in the circumstances and situations of our day and time. And when they ask, we can tell our God story … our personal account of who God is, what we were like before we were a believer, how we came to believe in Jesus, and that He is all we need.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean being exempt from trials and struggles. It means we have peace in the midst of them (John 16:33), as we mutually encourage one another in our faith (Romans 1:12), through the power of God’s Spirit that, working within us, is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20) It’s exciting, challenging, exhilarating, and all for His glory. I highly recommend it.
Victoria Van Couveirng is the director of Women’s Ministry at Craig Christian Church. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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