I care very deeply about this week’s sermon topic: living a God-honoring life in a place that seems to be against us. I could probably write a book, but instead, I’m providing a bulleted list. These are basic truths we need to refocus on if we are going to be the kind of God-honoring people that are needed in this world.
- We are all sinners.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
— Romans 3:23
- Jesus loved us all enough to die for for all of us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
— Romans 5:6–8
- We are commanded not to judge.
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
— Matthew 7:1
- We are taught and told to love, even those it is hardest to love.
“… love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?”
— Matthew 5:44–47
- It’s not enough just to behave ourselves. God cares about our hearts.
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”
— Romans 5:21–22
- We are called to be light.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they a see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”
— Matthew 5:16
Whatever our issues are, there can be none more important than living a life of love that honors God and others. We must search our souls and humbly confess our own sins. We can ask God to give us eyes to see and hearts to love others as God sees and loves them. He will answer that prayer. Our principled justifications, attacks and defenses might win arguments, but they will rarely win a single soul to the Father. Our God-inspired love can win the world.