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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Living the Loving, Giving Faith

Life works best when there is the unification of justice and respect in community. Life is, after all, a community enterprise. How we achieve justice and respect as inputs for unity – the promotion of love – is the key to our receipt of the only worthy output we seek: harmony. The only way harmony is sustainably achieved is through the concerted heartfelt commitment to the actions of love. This loving, giving faith is only possible through an ardent devotion to Christ.
Jesus Christ, when we invite him in without reservation, transforms us in love.
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The key difference between all other ‘faith’ platforms and Christianity is Christ’s loving, giving imperative. Indeed, such a loving, giving imperative cannot ever have a hope of being achieved without faith. To love and to give commands the embracing of the relational milieu so that others are made to take precedence over ourselves.
Being a Jesus follower is not a part-time vocation or a take-what-suits luxury or a privilege for the ‘good person’ – a Jesus follower knows first of all that he or she is a sinner saved by grace. They hold their sinful nature and their salvation in constant tension, forever thankful for the knowledge of their sinfulness and forever grateful for the grace that forgives all. Being a Jesus follower is a smorgasbord of submission and surrender and a crucifying of the lukewarm nature.
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The more you give, the more you get.
But such a law is conditional on having the heart to give.
When we get this principle, and live to serve, we ‘get’ Christ.
There is no such thing as a non-cross-carrying Christian.
The Christian bears a cross of love and love is a giving thing or it’s nothing at all.
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Perhaps the most important question any Christian can ask is to ask themselves how fervently they follow the example of their Saviour by serving and not being served; by giving and not taking.
Although it is the loving thing to know how to receive others’ love in a way they feel loved and appreciated, it’s a blight on anyone’s salvation to take when one could give.
A large part of bearing our crosses is to think of ourselves less, others more, and God supremely. This done, we allow our Lord to stun us with a special anointing of his love.
We will please God or we will please ourselves. When we please God we end up pleasing ourselves because God pleases us by our obedience.
When we put others first, we have put God first, and then we find God has already made us first through his blessing, because we have elevated love to first.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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