Are you ever glad that God is the Judge instead of a mortal man? I surely am. Though wholly righteous and just, God gives grace out of His eternal wellspring of love. When asked for forgiveness, He grants it. He chooses, as the One who sees all, to look not at the outer appearance, but looks upon the heart. It matters not to HIm that I may be plain and ordinary to look at, that I may have all manner of frailties, insecurities, and inadequacies. He loves me as His own. He chooses to encourage me, to build me up, to pour grace on me and to wipe my slate clean after I mess up 70 times 7…
How gracious and full of loving kindness is our LORD! The more I study and read about Jesus, the longer I walk hand and hand with Him, the deeper my love grows, the more humble my heart becomes, and the more grateful I am for who He is in spite of who I am.
2 things pressing in on my thoughts this morning are these…”Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) The other is from Romans 8:6-9 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.”
The false prophets, and or “carnally minded” among us are as in the days of old, not presenting themselves as such. Certainly not! Instead, they often quote scripture and claim to be a messenger of Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, it is a gravely serious matter that we must indeed try the spirits and be sure that we are following the Spirit of Christ. If a person comes to us claiming to be a messenger of Christ, we must search out that man and see if the Spirit of Christ is manifested in His words and in His deeds? Is he humble, kind, loving, forgiving, generous, filled with compassion, preaching truth with a passion for reaching the lost world, ever mindful of the mighty responsibility to present the words of the gospel in accordance with the Spirit of the Gospel? How may I find in a messenger the Spirit of Christ if that same spirit does not dwell in me? There are no weightier matters than these! “The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)
It is my duty to abide in the Spirit of Christ, to be sure that my words are used as Christ commanded. If I bear His Name, what a fearful responsibility I have to speak as He spoke, to love as He loved, to care as He cared. He was never arrogant or puffed up. He was no respecter of persons. He looked not on the outward appearance, but looked to the heart. He gave of Himself to honor His Father and to give glory to Him. We see Him angry when? When those who were supposed to be godly were indeed ungodly in His Father’s house.
My what a duty we have! What a calling to walk and live in humility and love. I am reminded again and again of the scripture in 1 Peter 3:3-5. It stands in such contrast and opposition to worldly standards of beauty and reminds me that there is something far more precious, something eternal about beauty for women God’s way, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden [woman] of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
May we ever know the ways of the One whom we serve. May we serve in humility and love giving honor and glory to Him by our hearts, our minds, our words, and our deeds that His love may abound in us and bless all those with whom we relate.