Today we’re featuring an author that is new to C201, Sunny Shell who blogs at Abandoned to Christ. As always you’re encouraged to read this at source and then browse his website.
Who among you fears the Lord
and obeys the word of his servant?
Let the one who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in the name of the Lord
and rely on their God. ~Isaiah 50:10
Following the Master of my soul is sometimes a lonely road; sadly, even within the Christian community.
It seems these days, that Christians have become as worldly as the world we live in. We live, laugh and love with those who live, laugh and love with us, while we shun those who make us feel uncomfortable.
We hypocritically and foolishly judge one another based on our personal affinities and ideologies of how we think life ought to be lived, whilst all the time, we dismiss our Savior’s command to love as He has loved us; in accordance with His perfect and righteous judgment (John 7:24), rather than with our imperfect and Pharisaical views (Psalm 55:12-14, Matt 7:5).
If we encourage and excuse those who indulge in the same sins we do, while we condemn and reject those who love us enough to rebuke us with the word of God (2 Tim 3:16-17), how will we ever mature in our faith (Prov 27:6)?
Sometimes I wonder if I’ve lived my life in vain. If the love I’ve shared, the injury spared and sacrifices made were all for naught. I wonder if others have truly forgiven me for offenses and injuries I’ve caused them, or desire my forgiveness for pains they’ve caused me. I wonder, as Christians, do we really strive for peace with one another—do we purposefully seek to love one another as Christ our God has loved us? Or do we sit around hoping things will magically work themselves out so we don’t have to face some ugly truths about ourselves?
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift…And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Strife or any hint of discord within the body of Christ has always and I believe, always will grieve me more than anything. Why? Because it grieves our Lord…it’s His body, so ultimately, it’s the Lord Jesus we’re hurting when we act in pride, behave foolishly, love only those who love us and make us feel good, when we gossip and harbor bitterness towards one another—all these things deeply grieve the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30-32), therefore it ought to grieve all those who are in Christ.
During these times of grief, I look to the Heavens and call out to God my Father, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. When I see His glorious and marvelous ways, and understand what I can of His magnificent wisdom, I perceive how He lovingly, patiently and compassionately deals with all mankind. My heart is filled with peace and moved with enduring love for those (both believers and unbelievers) who have hurt and rejected me or others who call on the name of the Lord. I understand, for I grieve my Lord the same way whenever I disobey (Luke 6:46) and prefer my opinions of right and wrong over God’s perfect judgement of what’s right and wrong.
I remind myself that I am nothing great in this world that anyone should look upon me and desire me for anything. I am but a lowly hand-maiden of the Lord, working His field, happily doing His bidding, just as He has commanded (Lk 17:10, 1 Cor 4:7). And in this, I am well satisfied, for I am well loved, well cared for, and well honored as a daughter of the Most High God.
So, while living I am may never be the person whom everyone likes or even in death, may never draw a crowd to my funeral, I shall be be fully satisfied on That Day, should my Lord say to me, my life had been a beautiful offering to Him and that I had run and finished well (Mk 14:6, Matt 25:23, 2 Tim 4:7).
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him…And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up…And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
Take courage fellow saints of Christ the Lord, remember, our lives are not our own. We were bought with the most costly price; the perfect and precious blood of the Son of God. If we lose ourselves and all that this world holds dear, be encouraged knowing your loving service to our brothers and sisters, and taking the Gospel to the lost, will grant you eternal glories that outweigh every earthly pleasure (2 Cor 4:16-18)!
“Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
~Jesus the Christ (Matt 10:37-39)