We have spent this school year studying “One Anothering: God’s Gift of Grace For Our Growth In Christ.” I hope and pray it will be fruitful in all of our lives as we allow the Holy Spirit to teach and transform us.
In this last study we are coming full circle where we consider how all of biblical One Anothering commands hold together in love. It is very clear in scripture where Paul urges the Corinthian believers: Christ’s love controls (compels) us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT
I am reminded of this pattern of Christ’s amazing love for me. The only way to One Another is to be compelled by and through His love to love others in the same way. I am held together by Christ’s love. His love holds me fast.
But to be completely honest, One Anothering can sometimes get messy and just plain difficult! But it is in this messy struggling that calls out biblical love! Jon Bloom says it like this: “Those extraordinarily difficult and painful things that can drive us crazy — that provide the very opportunities for the humanly impossible love of Christ to be exercised, giving visibility to the existence of the invisible God!”
Wow. But even with this wonderful and amazing knowledge that I truly believe, I still have those times when I wonder: Can I really live after Christ’s pattern in the messiness of my life and in the life of my church family? I have cried out to the Lord many times, “I can’t do this! I am too weak; too sinful and selfish to exercise this humanly impossible love of Christ!”
And of course, Jesus answers my cry. Every. Single. Time. “My grace is sufficient dear daughter. My strength is made perfect in your weakness.” So as we One Another dear sisters, it is God’s gift of GRACE in our lives.
You see, Paul says that God calls us to live lives compelled by Christ’s love; but what He calls us to do in our weakness, He then enables us to do by His grace.
God’s grace not only pardons our sins, but His grace is also given to us by the free and compassionate influence of His Holy Spirit who is sovereignly operating in our undeserving lives. He gives us strength. He gives us power through the Holy Spirit. God’s grace is sufficient. God’s grace is enough so that we may not become paralyzed in our circumstances and daily life, but that we may love one another as Christ loves us; that we may press on in obedience to Him, our loving Father.
We CAN One Another with Christ’s love. It holds everything together…. through his amazing grace.
We will be exploring this more thoroughly in our time together on Monday, 26 June. 7:30 PM. Church Hall. Please put it in your diary! It will be full of friendship, filling our tummies with cake, and filling our hearts and souls with His Word!