The Gift Poured Out April 20

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.

2 Thessalonians 3:5

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:18
God’s love and Christ’s perseverance are the very things we have witnessed this week as we’ve seen Jesus showing kindness and forgiveness in the middle of His pain and suffering. He showed such tender compassion to His enemies, the two criminals being crucified with Him, and to His mom. Yesterday, we were reminded that the moment Jesus died we were granted full access to God through Jesus Christ!
Because we have accepted Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we have received forgiveness for our sins, and the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. God’s Presence has moved right into our hearts. Now, we can follow Christ’s example of persevering to show God’s love with our actions because we have the Holy Spirit’s help. This is a struggle for us because we still have our old human nature to contend with.
Our old nature can be very frustrating as we fall back into relying on our own strength, our selfish ways, and our old motivations. But let us never give up. Instead, let’s allow our struggle with our old nature serve as a reminder that this is the very reason we need our Savior, Jesus Christ. Living out Jesus’ example is far too much for us to do on our own. But, we’re not on our own, we have the Holy Spirit alive inside of us! There is an encouragement for us as we battle our old nature. It’s found in Hebrews 12:1b-3 and Galatians 5:24-25
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1b-3
“Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:24-25
These powerful verses give us the battle plan, enabling us to continue in the fight to replace our old nature with Christ’s nature. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, crucify our old nature with its passions and desires, and walk in step with the Spirit so that we can run with perseverance the race marked out for us! The race to show God’s love with our actions, not merely our words, just like Christ Jesus did.

Scripture Inspired Prayer

Holy God, Come and direct my heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance so that I can love ALL the people You bring into my life. You have sacrificed so much for me. I know that You call me to follow Your example here of sacrificing my own passions and desires, setting my selfish nature aside, and moving forward to sacrificially and actively love everyone. Holy Spirit, rise up in me and enable me to follow Christ’s example every moment of every day of my life. When I fail, encourage me to try again and never give up.