Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 … Worthy Witness of Christlikeness

Passage of the Day: Hebrews 13: 1K [NIV]Keep on loving each other as brothers.

Hebrews 13: 1 – [NASB]Let love of the brethren continue.

My Journal for Today: We’ve been looking at Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians in Eph. 4: 1 [see devotionals for Jan. 1-8] for Christians to walk-the-walk of worthiness in Christ; and here, in today’s passage, the Author of Hebrews, which some scholars say was also the Apostle Paul, begins to get personal and practical about the issue of worthiness as a Christian, saying that believers will never be seen as any different from the world unless unbelievers AT LEAST see Christians loving one another. And actually, there were other similar challenges in the New Testament of this exhortation toward mutual love and Christian living. Besides the Author of Hebrews, there was Paul’s instruction to the Church and of Paul’s younger protégé, Titus, as we read in Titus 2: 7- 8

>>> SCRIPTURE: Titus 2: 7 In everything set them [the world of unbelievers] an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

Also, the Apostle Peter wrote to the Asia Minor churches, exhorting them in 1st Peter 2: 15

>>> SCRIPTURE: 1st Pet. 2: 15 For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.

And Jesus Himself, was pretty emphatic about Christians being walking examples of His Way of love, when He said the following in John 13: 34 - 35

>>> SCRIPTURE: John 13: 34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another."

Okay, … I’m both convinced and convicted! If we’re to be worthy Christians, we (I) need to be living for Christ and like Christ, loving one another and shining His light of good (and Godly) works (including mutual love) to the world in such a way that they see our [my] genuine love for one another and our concern for the world (see Matt. 5: 16 - you look that one up for yourself). … And I’m afraid that all too often I fall short of the mark set by God’s word and the Model of Christ Himself in this regard.

Yes, I fall short; but that doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t see the Mark and hold myself to it, or should I rather say, to “Him.” Christ is the Mark, of course; and all that I am, I should be for Him and in Him. With this said in writing, I move on toward my Mark [i.e., my “goal” of Christlikeness] as Paul stated in Phil. 3: 13-14

>>> SCRIPTURE: Phil. 3: 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

My Prayer Today: Lord, You are my Mark; help me be like You; and especially to love other Christians as You have shown Your love for me! Amen

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