There’s an unhealthy amount of anger and frustration in the world today. Society seems a bit crazy at times! As you listen to people, watch the news and social media, you see many inconsistencies and a lot of hypocrisy. BUT, no matter what is going on in the world or how out of control things may seems, as Christians, we are called by God to be obedient and faithful and to be His light in the world, always pointing people to God. Sadly, the world’s view of Christians has deteriorated over the past few decades. Many view Christians as judgmental, hateful bigots who are hypocritical at best, and some would go so far as to say Christians are dangerous. This falls far short of being “light.” It’s evident that Christians are getting it wrong all too often! Our society is now trending toward being a “post-Christian” culture, rather than a Christian-based culture. As Christians we need to obey and follow Christ in a way that has a positive influence and makes a difference in this world for God’s Kingdom!
Scriptures – John 1:14; Matthew 5:16; Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:1-2; John 8:31-32; Philippians 4:6-7
Verses – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from The Father, full of grace and truth (Jn 1:14) “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Mt 5:16) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ep 2:8-9) Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:31-32)
Thought – John 1:14 says that Jesus was full of grace and truth. He is our example! Too many err on the side of being all grace or all truth. It’s not either/or, it’s both! Grace comes first, and there is likely a reason for that. Grace saves. It is through grace we have been saved by faith. Grace is undeserved favor. We first accept Christ and receive his forgiveness just as we are. We don’t have to clean up or change our life before we come to Christ, that’s part of God’s work after we accept His grace. In the same way, we are to show grace to those around us, in the church, at work, everywhere. This means being accepting of people, loving them as God would. It doesn’t mean you agree with everything or find all their actions or life-style choices to be fine, but it means that you have an open-door policy to make a way for people to get to know God. Christians who are all about truth come across as uncaring, unforgiving, and harsh. Jesus said that He is The Truth, yet he showed grace and love and forgiveness to all he encountered. If we are to shine in the world as Christ-followers, as the Church of Jesus Christ united, we must hold true to our mission and be obedient and faithful to God by being the light that the world so desperately needs. As those who don’t know Jesus come to Him because of His grace and the grace shown by His Church, they will encounter the truth, and God’s good work can begin within them as they walk by faith. The truth will set you free.
Questions – Are there any specific “sins” you observe in people that make it difficult for you to extend grace to them? Do you know why? How do you balance grace and truth when you interact with someone who is a seeker or maybe just a non-believer? Is there anyone you avoid because you don’t have grace for them? Why are you sometimes compelled by grace with one individual and completely grace-deficient with another?
Response – Consider someone you need to extend grace to and begin to be light in that situation.
Prayer – Dear Lord, may my light shine so that others will see You in me. I do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone who needs Your grace and truth. Thank you for Your undeserved favor in my life. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.