Of course you and I are not “perfect,” but for far too long Christians have been saying this to justify sinfulness and shortcomings. No, we are not perfect, but we can honestly own up to our shortcomings. We are not perfect, but we should steadily be maturing and changing from glory to glory, day by day becoming more like Jesus. By His grace we have come so far, but let us not settle for mediocrity. In the words of Oswald Chambers, let us give our utmost for His highest.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:13-14
Society mocks integrity, virtue, chastity, and morals while applauding deception, vice, indulgence, and impurity. Then it is perplexed as to why there is so much chaos, division, violence, and dysfunction.
Claiming to be wise, they became fools. ~ Romans 1:22
Perhaps we are most like the ungodly when we are ungrateful. Contrary to popular belief, no one owes us anything—especially God! Yet, how many of us are blessed by God, as well as the work and kindnesses of others? Productivity, a warm hello, a helping hand, a good meal, etc. Even “self-made” persons do not make their buildings, cars, computers, phones, etc. Others did. Others’ giftings are often gifts to us, and all these come from God. What insolent arrogance when we think we are above displaying gratitude.
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him. ~ Romans 1:21
It is difficult being a parent. Sometimes we can be too harsh, and other times too lenient. Sometimes we mean well, only to have everything blow up in our faces. Still, other times everything seems disastrous, but miraculously things come together. Mom, Dad, our kids make mistakes and need our grace. We make mistakes too and need God’s grace. Breathe. You will never love your kiddos more than God loves you.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” ~ Romans 8:15
Many say, “Christians are all hypocrites” as a reason for not following Christ, but it is not a legitimate one. No one is called to take up his cross and follow after Christians, but Christ alone. One will not find hypocrisy in Him.
What is that to you? You follow me! ~ John 21:22
If you are saved, it is entirely of grace. Regardless how we might like to compare ourselves to other schmucks, we are merely redeemed schmucks. Each of us were once dead in sin, followers of Satan, and children of wrath. This is why grace is so amazing.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. ~ Ephesians 2:1-2
Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin not to grant us freedom to sin, just as antidotes are not made so we can indulge in poison. If one happily and lovingly yields himself to sin, such a person has a grave misperception of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Galatians 5:13-14
There are many people who “believe” in Jesus but who are not saved. They know many biblical teachings and that Christ died and arose—but they refuse to repent and follow Him.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. ~ John 6:66
Many of us are essentially nobodies, sometimes feeling as though we are drifting through life merely existing. We know the sting of rejection, loneliness, failure, and the like. We are either too this or too that, we are told. Yet we are called, chosen, and cherished by the One whose thoughts of us truly matters. We might, indeed, be nobodies. Yet we are significant somebodies to Him who redeemed us.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards,not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. ~ 1 Corinthians 1:26
There are times when we have little to give. Yet, if surrendered to God, even our little can go a long way. A warm smile, sincere smile, a kind note, a hug, a conversation over coffee, a listening ear, or an acknowledgment of someone’s existence and worth can go a long way. Society tells us we need “stuff,” but it is the little things that give us purpose and hope.
There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many? ~ John 6:9