May it be Said of Us

 In Blog, Daniel Cavanaugh

It’s the New Year and people are making their resolutions.  Statistics say that 80% resolve to be healthier and then the other 20% include sundry other goals and commitments.  What are you resolving this year?

 

I am not immune to setting goals for the New Year.  In fact, I make it a habit to do so.  I am a driven person and I am plagued with the desire to be better at what I do – no matter what it is.  However, over the last few days, as I have given thought to what I desire to accomplish and grow in for 2014, the Lord has been pricking my heart with aspects of the gospel.  He has been peeling back layers and that can be very painful.  I am compelled by the need to be marked more by certain evidences of God’s grace.  So, I give you a brief glimpse into what God is revealing as he peels back those layers.  In reality, I am going to share with you elements that should mark every serious-minded believer.

 

The gospel is the power unto salvation and sanctification.  And because of such power, there is no reason why these elements should not identify us.  After all, we are God’s people, are we not?

 

Let us be…

 

1.  Marked by compassion 

 

Jesus was marked with genuine heartfelt compassion when He saw the multitudes [Mt. 9:36].  In fact, it moved him to action.  He fed them and, most important of all, He proclaimed the glorious realities of Himself.  I find myself most often not moved with compassion.  Coworkers, people in need, or some annoyance that hits me during the day garners frustration from me rather than a look at the need of the person or opportunity I am encountering.  Most of the time, I am so focused on the project, or myself, that the needs of others pass right by me without even a casual glance.  You will know true compassion when you allow yourself to see and be moved by the needs of those around you.

 

Lets us…

 

2.  Speak with graciousness 

 

The spoken word is powerful.  It truly does hold life and death in its grips.  I am amazed at how often my words can give encouragement or destruction by one simple word or even tone.  But think of the grace afforded to us by Christ.  It is an ocean.  And it is this same grace that informs and compels us to afford grace to others.  Do not let the bitterness of sour words slip through.  Do not afford even a hint of pride or arrogance in a quick jab or cut.  They do you or others no service and the glory of Christ is diminished.  Let your heart pour forth, out of your mouth, the abundance of God’s grace – life unto the hearers.  Let your words be seasoned with salt so that it is savory to the receiver [Colossians 4:6, Philippians 1:27].

 

Let us…

 

3.  Give kindness

 

According to the Apostle Peter [2 Peter 1:7], kindness is a virtue that is evidence of a life of godliness.  Those who long to grow in godliness will give evidence of kindness.  It is a natural outworking of a heart that loves God and those whom they come in contact with.  Where there is no love there will be no kindness and, conversely, where there is no kindness there lacks love.  My prayer for you and myself is that of Paul who said, “that you may abound more and more in love” so it may give its evidence in our kindness towards others.  Pursue ways to be kind and withhold it not.

 

Let us…

 

4.  Live with reckless abandonment

 

When I consider, Jesus, I am reminded He had nowhere to lay His head (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58).  Most of us have no clue, let alone think, about risking for the sake of the gospel.  If we live in America, we have most likely slipped into the drunken stupor we call “The American Dream”.  Risk is not even in our vocabulary, let alone on our horizon.  I am not discounting the responsibility to provide for your family or pursue God given dreams.  But are you willing to give all that God has placed in your stewardship for the work of the gospel?  Live with a faith that is abandoned to the will of God – whatever that may be.  Take steps not knowing where they will lead but knowing they will lead to good according to the work of your Heavenly Father.  And, know that any risk you take for the gospel is not really a risk at all – for we know that Christ is a sovereign who has determined things for our good and His ultimate glory.  When Jesus said, “follow me” this was not presumption, this was a call to obedience.

 

And so…

 

May it be, that when this year is at end, it was said of us this year, and every year subsequent, we were marked by the evidence of God’s grace through the power of the gospel…

 

Daniel Cavanaugh

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Showing 2 comments
  • Carissa Koehn

    The Lord has been teaching me similar lessons so it was encouraging to read this post. #1 – Marked by Compassion was so convicting to me. I quickly plan what I want my day/week/months to look like so I get frustrated when those plans are disturbed. However, if my time, goals, and to-do list are given to Christ, how freeing that could be! This means I can listen to the Holy Spirit to speak the gospel to the barista at Starbuck’s instead of rushing through the line or encourage a struggling believer. Thank you for this blog post! It was exactly what I needed to read today!

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