Have control of your tongue. Your angry words that you “didn’t really mean” can destroy the spirit and heart of another. It can take them years to work through the damage caused by your carelessness. I can understand and accept anger. I don’t excuse a lack of self control.
As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.
Make a decisive dedication of your bodies, presenting all your members and faculties as a living sacrifice, holy devoted, consecrated and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable, rational and intelligent service and spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world or this age, fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs; but be transformed and changed by the entire renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitude, so that you may prove for yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you.
Let your love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil (loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness), but hold fast to that which is good. Love one another with brotherly affection as members of one family, giving precedence and showing honor to one another.
Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of God’s people [sharing in the necessities of the saints]; pursue the practice of hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you – those who are cruel in their attitude toward you; bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice [sharing others’ joy], and weep with those who weep [sharing others’ grief].
Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, snobbish, high-minded or exclusive, but readily adjust yourself to people and things, and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits.
Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is honest and proper and noble [aiming to be above reproach] in the sight of everyone.
If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
- St. Paul
Romans 12:1-2; 9-18 (AMP)
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV)
In the Bhutanese national language, Dzongkha, my name means “grace” - but what does it mean to be filled with grace? Specifically, from a Biblical perspective, it might mean to have the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of mankind as sinners, and the bestowal that God pours out His blessings on each of us.
Often I find it hard to behave in a way that reflects the grace of God that I so blessedly live in, free from the bondage of sin, which I believe you and I received when Jesus died on the cross for us, and that it is possible, through the redemption we have on account of Christ’s sacrifice for each one us, to live in His grace, and be apart of manifesting His grace to other people.
Scripture is good at explaining what Paul meant when he wrote what he did to the early church, and I think because so often we raise him up to be this “macho-man” missionary, we believe him capable of doing so much more than we are able to. After pondering this for awhile, I realized some amazingly thought-provoking truths: before Paul became the amazingly strong Christian that he was, he ardently opposed those of the Faith, and worked towards their persecution. It took an amazingly personal encounter with Jesus Christ to set him straight, and even after his conversion, Paul didn’t always get things right. He is an excellent example of what it means to live under grace, and not under the law.
I like how the Amplified Version expounds on Paul’s writing this section of one of his letters to the Church in Corinth:
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!
So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).
What encouragement! Instead of standing in awe of this man who we read so much about, and in some ways aspire to be like, I think Paul would rather we focus on the real deal: living, like he did, (not focused on him - the human being who would be incomplete and condemned, but for the gift of God) but believing and knowing that the price has already been paid, and all we need to is completely surrender to Jesus and He will work in our lives so we can become vessels of His grace.
I need to remember another truth that Paul wrote of:
”- It is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me.” - Galatians 2:20
Dwight Moody helps sum up how I’ve been feeling about what this deal about God’s grace is very well:
“Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.” The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.”
Be still, there is a healer
His love is deeper than the sea
His mercy, it is unfailing
His arms are a fortress for the weak
The world crowns success;
God crowns faithfulness
You do not get harmony when everybody sings the same note
I was watching a film clip about a man dying from cancer. Here is a quote from his interview:
“Only when you accept death can you free yourself from it, can you deal with it, can you move forward from it. Acceptance is the absolute key. At that moment you gain freedom and you gain power, and you gain courage. This is going to be it - this is my hope for eternity”
My hope is built on Jesus Christ, and the fact that I live in His death - that I have the assurance of spending eternity with Him - not because I have conquered death - but because He has. When I die, I want this verse, in this version to go on my epitaph:
“I have been crucified with Christ [in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ (the Messiah) lives in me; and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in (by adherence to and reliance on and complete trust in) the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
In Christ alone, my hope is found.