We are called to love God first with all that we are and then to love others as ourselves. Jesus said that these are the two greatest commandments. Loving as Christ does compels us to call out sin, living by the truth of God’s word. Yet, we must do this with compassion. To the world compassion looks like acceptance and tolerance of sin. However, that does not align with the Word of God. Our Heavenly Father created the standard by which we live. We stand strong. We do not waver. We do not compromise. We do not shrink back. We must read the word, study the word, and know it by getting it deeply rooted in our hearts. We must ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and to cultivate the fruit that allows us to love well with grace and truth. This will keep us from being swayed, seduced and swept away by the current of the culture.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:6-8
When I was 15 years old I had an abortion. It was believed that my baby would not be born healthy or that the birth would cause harm to my body because I had an eating disorder at the time. I did not fully understand the gravity of the decision being made nor the subsequent consequences. I mourned the loss of this child in guilt and shame for many years. This caused many outward displays of hatred towards myself. I did not know Jesus. Therefore, I did not know my worth, my value as an image bearer of the one true King. Because I felt a need for escape, I later spiraled into alcohol abuse and continued in other destructive behaviors because I had not learned to turn to the Lord for refuge and strength.
Years went by and I felt drawn to attend church. I was sick and I needed a Savior. I was at the end of my rope, at the end of myself. He met me there, right where I was, right at the bottom of the pit…slave to the bottle and utterly broken. He heard my cry and rescued me. He saved me from myself, from the slow and miserable death of my wounded soul.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.
It took me a very long time to forgive myself for having the abortion and the many other sins I had committed over the years. I am so thankful that when we surrender our lives to Christ and ask for forgiveness and repent of our sins, they are forgiven. Our debt has already been paid by our loving and merciful Savior. He loves us beyond anything we could ever possibly imagine. He takes away the stench of guilt and shame that plagues us and replaces it with joy, hope and peace.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
Our Heavenly Father creates us anew. He brings beauty from the heaping ashes of our past. He saves us to live for Him. He calls us to serve and love others well, which brings glory to Him. The love of Christ compels us to stand for the truth and speak it with grace. The Word says that we all have sinned, yet we were saved by His amazing grace. What God has done for us, out of His great compassion, gives us the example to follow in showing compassion to others. We must share the hope that we have so that many may come to know the love of our Savior.
We are living in a culture filled with extreme rage and hostility, particularly towards the body of Christ. Therefore, we must stay fervent in prayer and steeped in the word, our sword against the enemy, to stand firm in our faith. Let us show the love of Christ in all that we say and do. We must be kind, loving and compassionate in word and deed. Continue to pray for hearts to be softened and drawn to the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us enough to save us from ourselves, to meet us right where we are but not to leave us there. Help us to care enough about others to speak the truth in love, to be strong and courageous and not shrink back. Lord, we need You. We need Your strength. We need Your wisdom. Your word says if we ask, You will give it generously. Help us to seek You first in all things, including when to speak, how to speak and when to be silent. Help us to show kindness and compassion, to comfort and support those in need. Lord, help us to be your hands and feet, loving, and protecting the vulnerable, and serving others well. Help us to live according to Your word without compromising. Help us to not allow the tide of the culture to affect our standing firm in faith. Help us to comfort the brokenhearted, disillusioned and fearful. You are our Hope and we can confidently point others to You, knowing that You will do what only You can do, rescue, save, redeem and transform. We love You and we give You all the praise, honor and Glory! In Jesus’ Mighty, Matchless Name, Amen and Amen!
By Lanette Black