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5:42 AM   [01 Apr 2018 | Sunday]

Are You Christlike?

   During the Easter Season, believers celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But, do they realize His death and resurrection is supposed to be ours as well (see Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20)?  Jesus is not some salesman selling fire insurance.  While He came to save from the wrath to come, it was not His sole purpose.  Another reason was to reconcile us to the Father, and yet, there is more.  We are called to be in the image of Christ, and as His ambassadors, seek to reconcile the lost to Him too.  If we don’t love as He loves, how will we influence those in the world for the good of the Kingdom?  Frankly, a lot of harm has been done because a number have not truly embraced the ways of the Kingdom.  This is not meant to scold or cause guilt, much less condemn; rather, to cause us to consider our lifestyle in relation to His.  How close to Jesus do we really walk?

   Matthew 5:43-45 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

   Do you love well?  Do you love your enemies?

   2 Corinthians 5:18-19 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    Do you hold or impute people’s sins against them, or do you allow love to cover a multitude of sins in order to gain as many as possible for Christ?  Have you ever heard a Christian say something to the effect of, “They didn’t treat me very well, so why should I treat them any different?”  “They haven’t done me any favors; why should I do one for them?”  Let’s not forget, “They treated me like garbage, so I gave them a piece of my mind!”  Since when do disciples of Jesus Christ base their behavior on worldly standards?  Instead of being concerned with how others treat us, shouldn’t our concern be how well we treat others, regardless of their behavior or attitude toward us?

   How many know that numerous servers at restaurants dread Sunday afternoons?  Why?  The Church crowd!  Some of their most demanding and ungrateful customers are the ones who just got out of church.  Not all, mind you; but several.  As a matter of fact, these are some of the stingiest when it comes to leaving tips.  “That server was awful, she (or he) doesn’t deserve any more than that!”  While it is nice to reward extra to those who serve us very well, what would happen if we were just as kind to someone who didn’t, or perhaps couldn’t?  We don’t always know what others are going through, especially, if we are more concerned about ourselves being served well.  “That’s their job!”  Because of personal issues, some might find it a challenge to just show up for work.  It may be a struggle to serve someone who is rude and ungrateful.  Graciousness doesn’t necessarily come easy for everyone, even if it is their job.  A number of servers have given excellent service to church crowd members who give them less than what is considered protocol in relation to tips.  That can be a hard one to swallow for some.

   Of course, there’s the “tract people.”  Instead of leaving money, they leave gospel tracts as their tips.  Are servers supposed to feed their children pages of a tract?  “Gospel” means good news.  Is it really good news to a hungry family that gets handed a small booklet that doesn’t meet their immediate need of food? James says,

   “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself” (James 2:14-17).

   If you’re going to leave a tract, please put some money in it.  Be generous!  That family might be more inclined to read it.  What about taking genuine interest in your server?  That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to know his or her life story (though it could), but do be concerned with how well you treat him or her.  Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.  How would you treat someone if you knew he or she was an angel?  Wherever we may go, self-righteousness should not be walking through the door with us.  Whether you’re at home, work, a restaurant or anywhere else, ask yourself, “How am I treating people here?  Am I Christ-like?”

   Matthew 16:24-27 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds.

www.perfectfaith.org

 

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