Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

May It Never Be

PSALM 69:20 – Reproaches have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.

THEME OF THE DAY. MAY IT NEVER BE. The worst thing which may be said of any Christian or local church is what David said in today’s scripture – “I looked for pity, but there was none, for comforters, but I found none.” To profess to know the God who is love, and yet hold a reputation of not caring, showing no pity, and being neglectful to serve the hurting people all around in and by the Gospel of the Lord Jesus is the height of self-deception and hypocrisy. To be a Christian lacking personal, intentional, and consistent acts of reaching out to people – Christians and non-Christians – with the pity, comfort, and love of Christ is to betray our profession and identity as a Christian.

Now would be a good time to do honest and exposing self-examination to see if what David says is true of us as individuals and churches. And then go further. Evaluate our lives by the evidence in our lives of whether we are being “Christ’s hands and feet” of pity, comfort, and love to the people all around us. Friends, if it takes time to look into our lives to see if we are obeying the command of Christ “to love one another”, and if we have difficulty recalling the last time we did reach out in loving words and service to someone outside our physical family, no matter what we think of ourselves spiritually, we are not well. We are in a bad spiritual condition. The reality of our fellowship with the Lord Jesus is, well, not reality. We may have great amounts of knowledge about Christ; able to articulate the depths of good systematic and Biblical theology; and win any argument about the existence of God, the truth of the scripture, and scriptural doctrines of sin, salvation, and sanctification, but we are so so far from a living and abiding relationship with the Savior who is love.

The Apostle Paul boldly stated that what consumed and controlled his life was not the doctrines he expounded, not the amount of sacrificial service for the Lord he rendered, and not the many people he led to the Lord Jesus. It was Christ’s love. He wrote, “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). In Paul’s testimony, we are given two ways we may affirm in our own lives that we are living as God intends – under the control of Christ’s love.

First, Christians living life under the control of Christ’s love are learning the self-denying life and slowly but surely shedding a self-centered life – that those who live might no longer live for themselves. Associated with the distancing from selfish living will be the hating of selfish living. When Christ is thriving in the life of a Christian and His love the controlling factor, we despise being selfish and will do all-out war against it. Self-love will be loathed and slain.

Another evidence we are living under the control of Christ’s love is our focus will be on Christ’s interests, not our own – that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. What are the chief interests in the Lord Jesus? His Father’s will, the spiritual welfare of His children, and the people yet to be His children. Does that describe us? Are we driven by the will of God in everything? Passionate about helping other Christians grow spiritually? Burdened for the lost leading to getting the Gospel into our worlds? These are evidence in the believer under the control of Christ’s love.

Loving people. Showing pity toward people. Comforting people. These are what Christians are to be known for. May it never be said we are a people who don’t care, who don’t comfort, and leave the people around us ignorant of the love of God in Christ Jesus.

PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when my world revolves around me and I fail to be put the interests of others ahead of mine.”

QUOTE: “Nothing worse may be said of a Christian and local church than “They don’t care. They don’t reach out.”