By Gladys McElmore
The apostle Peter undoubtedly reminded many first century believers that living for Christ resulted from effective service. The Christian life is a process in which we learn complete dependence on God through His Son. Peter said, “You will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 8). God calls us to a wonderful process of learning to know Him with assurance that it will lead to much productive service in His name and for His honor. At best, our lives are painful because we keep getting hurt and keep hurting others without God’s repair work.
How can God’s goodness and patience shine through us so that we may bless others? Because God has given us so much by providing for our salvation, we can ask Him to help us make the gospel attractive to others by the way we live each day. We must continue to explore ways to attract others to God who can make us look beautiful in our world. Maybe somehow the difference Christianity has made in our lives will encourage others. That may be best done by following the words of Paul in Colossians 4:5. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity” (NIV). If we fail in our demonstrations of God’s love and faithfulness, we can try again in unlimited opportunities. All of us are wise when we gain our wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable.
It is confidently affirmed in Psalm 46:1 that God is a very present help in trouble. We pray for and can receive grace to endure with His word to sustain us and with many faith-filled people to encourage us. Through all trials and tribulations we know that God will work for our spiritual good. The next time things look bleak, try seeking our helper! To recover from our spiritual failings, we are totally dependent on God through Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us. We feel hopeful, and can pass this feeling on to others that being sidelined by sin and failures is not the end, but can open doors of greater opportunities for all of us. God repairs us, but He uses something more precious than gold; He uses the blood of His Son. Paul advised us in 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 that there is a difference between worldly and spiritual wisdom. We can invite God to influence our responses when we witness to others.
As we apply God’s word to our hearts, let us keep in mind that the God of grace has given us His guidelines to help us grow in our love for Him and in our concern for others. Each day that we strive to follow biblical commands we are faced with choices that will reflect the lives of others who need God. Spiritual sensitivity demonstrates the love of Christ that seeks to heal the brokenhearted. Let us admit that it is easy for us to be consumed with our own wants and needs. Spiritually hungry people are everywhere and long to hear God’s messages. The demand is unprecedented with the wisdom of God surrounding us!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.