Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bible Study: Beginning well

Romans 14:8
John 15:12-17
Take one step forward
Christ Jesus gave everything for us. He didn't just give up the luxuries and safeties of heaven to suffer and die for our sake here on earth. He gave them up for three decades to be tested and tried among us, living in a family and with 12 bickering disciples, surrounded by individuals who wanted the miracles more than friendship. Through all the tests of His patience, He did not sin. An incredible feat.
We must work on knowing and imitating the Lord NOW if we want to be known and acknowledged by the Him at the end of time. He has called us His friends and family; so as we look at the way He treated His friends and family members, we will know how we should treat our own friends and family members, as response to His welcoming of us into His family and our desire to remain there now and for all eternity. We won't be as perfect as Christ Jesus, but we can hold His actions as our goal and work bit by bit toward it. As He was patient when dealing with difficult people, we can make an effort to be patient also despite the challenges we face.
I cannot become patient toward others overnight, but I can make an effort to take one step forward. I can resolve to begin each interaction with other people with a word of love. Whether as simple as a cheerful "hello", or as strong as an outright compliment, I can make an effort to approach people with a blessing rather than a criticism. They might respond negatively. The conversation might take a negative turn. I might fail afterwards and end the interaction poorly. But I can strive to begin it in a way that pleases the Lord. And if the interaction does end badly, the next one might go better because I'll be trying to begin that one also with a word or deed of love.

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