Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The power to love comes from God not from us!

                 A young mother was putting her four year old daughter to bed and was listening to her prayer. It was their custom that, after the child would recite a short memorized prayer, she would recite a short prayer of her own. One evening, after speaking the first prayer, she added these words, "O God, make all the bad people good and all the good people nice."
We can not be sure what was meant by these words. But, it would appear, that she was expressing an important biblical truth. The only way "bad people" can become "good" is through faith in Jesus Christ. This would be a prayer that asks that unbelievers would be brought to faith. When she asked that "good people" would be "nice," it would seem to mean she hopes that all Christians would live as children of God ought to live.
This prayer makes use of the observation that Christians do not always live the way they should. One would expect a child of God to live a life that brings glory to God's name. Now, we know that a child of God is not going to live a perfect life. Christians are sinners before they come to faith and after. Perfection is reserved for the life to come.
The problem, that’s so often present, is that many Christians just don't let their faith reflect itself in their life. They curse and swear, lie, cheat and steal, they argue and fight and can carry a grudge with the best of them.  In essence, they live like the "world," like the unbelievers around them.
So what is the answer? Where do we find a solution to this problem? How can we find the strength to live our lives more like that of Jesus?
If we simply set out to do it on our own, we will certainly fail. "Being a nice person" is not what we are talking about. Many unbelievers are "nice people." Showing love, Christian love, is something different. Living a life of Christian love is not something we can muster up for ourselves. It comes from God. It is God's love for us in Jesus Christ that is our motive and our power to show love for others. "It is God who works in you both to will and to do according to his good pleasure." (Phil 2:13)
            Every day, as you pray and read his Word, ask the Lord to fill you with his love so that you will be equipped to show love toward others. Ask him to help you be a "nice person," one who has a close relationship with Christ, one who lives in ways that are pleasing to God.