Wednesday, April 8, 2015

God's Principles to Live By

All of Christ's followers (no exception) are called to live by God's principles as follows:

  • Be like-minded/be of one mind, the mind of Christ. "Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind...In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:2, 5) When we have Christlike mindset, we have the selfless, sacrificial, submissive, and serving mind. Christians should be in unity regarding essential doctrines, theology, God's truth & virtues, Gospel, and Jesus. "In essentials, Unity. In non-essentials, Liberty. In all things, Charity." (Archbishop of Split) Be united with the resolve to glorify and honor God!
  • Be sympathetic. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn/weep with those who mourn/weep (Romans 12:15). "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." (1 Corinthians 12:26) Identify with others' pains and sorrows. Have a genuine concern for others. Carry one another's burdens.
  • Love one another with brotherly love. Deeply. Sincerely. "Have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart." (1 Peter 1:22b) "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10) Love in action, not just in words. "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters." (Hebrews 13:1)
  • Be compassionate. Be kindhearted/tenderhearted. Show mercy. Deeply moved by others' afflictions/hardships and try to find ways to relieve them. Caring hearts that want to help and comfort the hurt, the sorrowful, and the distressed.
  • Be humble. Be teachable. Don't be arrogant or prideful. Put others above selves. True humility is about self-denial. A truly humble person yields himself/herself to Christ to be a servant, to use what he/she is and has for the glory of God and the good of others. 
  • Do not repay evil with evil. Do not take revenge. Overlook offenses. Forgive.
  • Do not repay insult with insult. Imitate Christ who did not retaliate when insults were hurled at Him (1 Peter 3:23). Do you snap back at those who say unkind words about you or put you down? We are called to take the high road. Show patience and self-control. Forgive. 
  • Repay evil with blessing. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12:21) "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Romans 12:14) "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:44-45a) "When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly." (1 Corinthians 4:12b-13a) Shine your light when you meet darkness. Share God's love when you face hatred. Do good when evil is done to you. "You are to give blessing to others because you have inherited so much blessing from Christ; your whole tone, temper, spirit, language, action should be the means of blessing to others." (Charles Spurgeon) 
You and I are called to live by these principles, reflecting the character of Christ, so that we may inherit a blessing. When we do what God tells us to do, we are doing His will and He will be attentive to our prayer and bless us.

 Prayer: "Give me a heart sympathetic and tender;

Jesus, like Thine, Jesus, like Thine;
Touched by the needs that are surging around me,
And filled with compassion divine." (Stephen Olford)


Alyce Eccentrick said...

This is something that I really needed to see today. I'm having issues with family and it is really hard not to snap back at them when they say mean things and shout. At the same time, I know that God expects me to do better because I have the example of Jesus to follow. Thank you for reminding me of that. Have a blessed day!

Paul Taubman said...

It always seems so simple to know to just "to the right thing."

All of these are basic and fundamental and have been taught to us our whole lives.

Why is it so difficult to put into practice sometimes?

Thanks the for the reminder!

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