The Inconvenient Truth about Being God’s Children

Devotional Thought of the Day:

13  We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit. 14  And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15  If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us. 16  And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them. 17  Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s. 18  There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment. 19  We love because God first loved us. 20  If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen. 21  The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.
1 John 4:13-21 (TEV)

282      Practise a cheerful charity which is at once kindly and firm; human and supernatural. An affectionate charity, knowing how to welcome everyone with a sincere and habitual smile, and how to understand the ideas and the feelings of others. In this way, gently and vigorously, and without concessions in matters of personal morals or in doctrine, the charity of Christ—when it is being well lived—will give you a spirit of conquest. Each day you will be more eager to work for souls.  (1)

5. We cannot truly call on God, the Father of all, if we refuse to treat in a brotherly way any man, created as he is in the image of God. Man’s relation to God the Father and his relation to men his brothers are so linked together that Scripture says: “He who does not love does not know God” (1 John 4:8).  (2)

He chose to stay there. He had to stay there. He had to absorb their hatred and return love in its place.  They physically tortured Him, and He called on God the Father to forgive them anyway.

One of his followers said, Imitate me, as I imitate Christ!

Are you ready to do that? Are you ready to face hatred head on, and meet it with love?  Are you ready to surrender your pride, your rights, your position or reputation, your family and even your life, if that is what is needed, that your enemies and adversaries could be afforded the opportunity to be reconciled to God the Father through Christ?

Some would say we aren’t supposed to put ourselves in the place of Jesus, that there is only one mediator.  That God can’t expect us to love like He did, that such is not possible for sinners such as we are.

And so they refuse to love their neighbor, nevermind their enemy.

We can’t do that anymore, it is so contrary to what Paul talks of, when he talks about our being united to Christ’s death and resurrection, when he says we can use grace as an excuse for not trying to restrain the sin in our lives.  (For Lutherans, check out Article VI of the Augsburg Confession)

There is a new life in Christ.  There is the life in the Spirit; there is the life breathed into us, when we were spiritually dead, dry bones.

But this life is one that begins in the sacraments, as the word of God results in God taking root in our lives. It is encouraged in prayer, and in times of devotion, those times of quiet awe and adoration when we realize He is God, and He is here… It is a life where any fight is not over power or authority, but a fight to see people reconciled to God, rescued and healed from the damage of sin and hell.

To see their hearts turned to God, to see them be drawn to the cross, for there we have found hope, for there we have found life.

This is our ministry, whether pastor or priest, deacon or any other servant of God. Yes, it takes great faith, great trust in God, that He will raise you from the dead, that He has given you this life, He has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort and empower us and transform us into the image of His Son.

In this faithful life, we come to love our brothers who we can see, and so demonstrate our love for God our Father.

This is the baptized life.  Don’t accept any other ….

 

(1)   Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 1144-1148). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

(2)   Catholic Church. (2011). Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions: Nostra Aetate. In Vatican II Documents. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on June 16, 2016, in Devotions, st josemaria escriva, The Forge, Vatican II and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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