Archive for November, 2012

November 1, 2012

Let Scriptue Form You (November)

In these final days of the election, when we are being inundated with all sorts of messages, it is all the more important to run to the Scriptures.  We are being formed into someone’s likeness all the time.  Nations want to form us into their likeness.  Political ads want to form us into their likeness.  People want to form us into their likeness.  If we listen long enough, that is exactly what will happen.

This is why in the midst of indoctrination all around us we must focus all the more on Christ and his likeness.  Through the Holy Spirit, the Scripture helps to form us into the likeness of Christ.  The Scripture calls us into a new and different way of living.  If a non-Christian seriously considered the lifestyle Scripture calls us to live, he/she would call it ridiculous and unsustainable.  We call it beautiful and supernatural.  Let us consider a few.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Matthew 7:3-5

The Christian’s first response should always be self-reflection and repentance.  During this season of accusations and finger-pointing, take time to reflect on your own behavior.  How have you been blinded by sin in your life?  Where can you repent?

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Matthew 5:43-48

What separates Christians from others is that a Christian loves the enemy.  In this season of accentuating the enemy in order to ostracize him/her, take time to consider how you have treated enemies in your life.  How are ways you can love an enemy and perhaps seek reconciliation?

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Ephesians 4:29-32

Christians are called to forgive and build one another up.  In this season where forgiveness is scarce and most seek to tear down, take time to ask yourself how closely this passage resembles your life.  How can you embody these verses in your life this month?

Christians who are formed by the Scriptures will challenge the world.  They will be a light in the darkness.  They will point to a new and better way to live with one another.  Be that light in the darkness.

Pastor Rich