Wednesday, December 30, 2015

showing grace to those around us


For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.

At the core of our church’s DNA and desire is to accept everyone we come in contact with.  That in no way means we agree with a person’s choice to live in sin, but we wholeheartedly want to demonstrate God’s love for every person we can.

This is not the easiest thing to do and has been proven for centuries by the people who are part of the church as we draw lines, separate ourselves and look down on people who are not like us.  It might be that we sin differently (believing we are all sinners) or that we simply agree on a person’s choices (we are all entitled to our opinions).

The final judge is God.  His truth/word to us is the Bible.  The only way we are to communicate this difference is to share in love (Ephesians 4:15) when we believe someone is living in sin.  That is why I have chosen to take a few minutes to give you and I a reminder about something I seek to live by.  That is … if I’m going to err, it will be my choice to err on the side of grace.

So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God has dealt with us in grace.  We must deal with others in grace.  That means that we choose not to judge.  It is an awesome opportunity to show grace and love to people who rarely have someone show them grace or love.  That could be true for many different reasons.

Facts are still facts.  God loves people.  God sent His son to die for people.  God’s grace is rich and free to any one who will accept that gift.

Those who don’t understand how to treat people with grace often bother me.  I am excited when I get a chance to share grace and remind anyone that they have God given potential that is far greater than any one knows.  It pains me a great deal when someone chooses to cut off grace to another person.

We are not God.  That is another fact.  We are neither the judge nor the jury.  The people around you and I will be more drawn to the love of God by our love than by our condemnation.  I pray that our love will be greater.  I pray that we will be able to show more grace and give second chances.

Not everyone will agree with or understand you or me.  The one I answer to is God, and staying close to God personally is the most important part of this relationship.  Are we willing to give up our opinion so His love is seen more?  Are we willing to stop judging others so the grace of God can be shown to more people?  That means less of me and more of Him.

Father, how will my life, my words and actions, point more people to you?  Please make this a reality in my life.  Thank you for your love and your grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

John 3:30  NASB
He must increase, but I must decrease.

PERSONAL CLOSING NOTE

It is almost time to celebrate the beginning of a brand new year.  Hard to believe that 2015 is gone.  There are many opportunities ahead for you and me.  Sunday I will share with our church family a challenge that will help us move in to The Community's new campus quicker.  Please pray for this to become a reality and let me share something close to my heart.

I'd like to invite you to give to the work we are so passionate about.  If you would like to get the benefit of a tax deductible gift for 2015, your gift would need to be given before the end of the day Thursday. 

Here are some of the ways you may want to give: 1. ministry of The Community Fellowship (general fund), 2. completion of our new campus (vision fund), 3. Homeless, feeding or benevolent work of The Community (mission offering).  Mail your check to The Community, PO Box 388, Collinsville, VA 24078, or you can give online HERE or at https://tcf.ccbchurch.com/w_give_online.php.

Thank you for demonstrating the love of God to our community and beyond by giving out of your blessings and by serving God through volunteering in a ministry near to you.  Please let me know if I can help you further by sending me an email to mharrison@thecommunityfellowship.org, and may God make your 2016 incredible and change many lives through His incredible grace.

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