For a long time, the most quoted verse in the Bible was John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
But in recent years, it’s been overtaken by the opening verse of Matthew 7: “‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged.”
Instead of talking about how God loved us when we were lost in rebellion and sin, people would rather talk about how we treat one another. Now, we should always be telling the good news of salvation and life in Jesus. But often we overlook the difference being God’s people should make to how we live.
‘Oh, but we’re saved by faith, not by works!’ Absolutely! But having been saved by faith, do we live by faith? Do our lives show that we believe God’s promises? Do we live like God’s Word for us is best?
Christian, do you live like the Gospel changes your eternity, but not your present? Or maybe we forget that not everyone is heading to heaven like we are (v6)? At the heart of it is a failure to see God’s goodness, especially in the ways He changes us. Do we really believe that God gives good gifts (v11), including the people around us?
It’s so easy to live like God’s Kingdom is for the life to come, but not for now. That becoming like Jesus will happen in eternity, but is pretty hopeless for now.
But is that how Jesus sees it? Does Jesus believe we’ll just muddle along in life like everyone else until He calls us home? No. Jesus challenges our thinking about our relationships. He calls us not to live like we naturally would. Jesus says the way we treat others must be different because belong to His Kingdom.
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- Unity: An Essential Mark of the Local Church by Josh Buice
- Let Your Dream Church Die by Scott Hubbard
- Ten Reasons to Read the Bible Every Day from John Piper at Desiring God
- Matthew with Douglas Sean O’Donnell on Help Me Teach the Bible with Nancy Guthrie