We often put as much effort into hiding and justifying our sin as we do sinning itself, only making it worse in the process. But when in the midst of our consequences we acknowledge our sin and receive God’s forgiveness, he disarms our disobedience and blesses us with his protection and direction.
Flourishing life comes when we recognize who we are in relation to God, submit to his authority, and dialogue within him about the things that really matter in life. In practical terms this means that we don’t know enough to tell God what we need or what he should do. God genuinely wants to hear our desires, but then we need to be willing to listen to his guidance and direction.
Rather than focusing on our own often misplaced goals, Jesus calls us to act within the authority God gives us and the vulnerability that is inherent to our lives. Essentially, this surrender is an acknowledgement that Jesus is the Savior, but that he also calls us to serve and suffer with him for the sake of his kingdom.
We will never experience the fullness of God’s grace when preoccupied with ourselves. But when we relinquish our self-interests and focus on God and others, God is ready to pour out his generosity and kindness upon us.
God didn’t redeem us and call us as his servants because we were so impressive. He chose us out of his grace and love, the same grace and love that we are called to share with those around us.
An unwavering commitment to God comes with fighting the enemy by clinging to God and by living in real fellowship with the people of God.
Biblical leaders shepherd the people for whom they are responsible, tangibly expressing God’s care for us. In response, godly servants submit willingly to authority, recognizing that God establishes authorities in our lives.
1 Peter 3:8-12 provides us with good direction for how we treat one another.
Suffering for the right reasons and submitting to divinely established authorities is pleasing to God.
Evangelism is an act of worship when it is demonstrated and communicated with passion, a respect for authority, and a generous humility.
Many in the past have missed out on the rest God intends. But learning from them, we can better understand how to listen to God and be assured of the rest that comes in walking with Jesus, even when it is difficult.
We typically respond to suffering, whether deserved or not, by isolating, blaming others, or by trying to dig ourselves out on our own. James tells us that the real solution is found in submitting ourselves to God by confessing our needs and shortcomings to others who will pray for us and walk with us.
Most everyone would agree that broken lives matter, but what should we see when broken lives really do matter? Demonstrating humility, ministering to one another effectively, and displaying generosity toward one another indicate that the broken lives of people around us matter.