Today’s reading: Romans 15, 16, Mark 1, Proverbs 29
1 We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”
I read a blog by Francis Frangipane recently that the Holy Spirit used to grab my attention. It fits in so well with the passage I have chosen today I decided to share this with our blog family.
There exists a certain degree of hypocrisy among us. What I mean is, without qualms, we condemn the world for not being Christian, yet without remorse we accept we are not Christlike.
I am not saying we shouldn’t cry out against evil; sin exists and we must reprove it. However, at some point we must recognize there is more to our destiny than judging sin. God is looking for the perfection of mercy within us. “Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13), and to follow Christ is to walk the path of mercy toward full redemption.
Recall the words of Paul. He tells us to “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). He goes on to explain that Christ existed in the form of God, yet He emptied Himself, took the form of a man, and died for our sins. In other words, He saw the need, but instead of condemning man, He died for man. Paul says we are to have this same attitude in us.
I do not want to be a typical American Christian. I am hungry for more. I want to “grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head [of the church], even Christ” (Eph. 4:15). Our call is to attain “the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (v. 13).
Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). As Christ was sent into the world to pay the price for sin, so in following Him we become a society of redeemers. When wounded, we forgive; when forced to go one mile, we go two. We bless those who curse us and turn the other cheek to those who strike us. As Christ hung on the cross at Calvary and prayed, “Father, forgive them . . .” (Luke 23:34), so we stand before God and, on behalf of our sinful world, we pray the mercy prayer as well.
I am convinced that the more Christlike the church becomes, the greater will be the backing of Heaven. The more we become a society of redeemers, the more hope we have to see our nation turned back to God.