As Christians, we spend more time with others who profess to be Christians than we spend with those who are openly bowing down to worldly pleasures and desires. More often than not, we see much more contention in the church than we see in the world, because we spend the majority of our time in the church focusing on what we believe to be "kingdom building activities” that are sometimes nothing more than “ventures.” Most of the struggles and challenges that we are faced with arise from our relationships, or lack thereof, between our spiritual brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers in ministry.
Yes, living a Christian life is very challenging. Nevertheless it is very possible to live a Christian life and help others to be able to do the same by exemplifying the love of God! We can and should live “Christ-Like” in this world. God's Word teaches us that we should be ye kind one to another. The principle of love in the heart is established when we are kind one to another. Love is not a word that should be tossed around lightly or just spoken; the outward expression of love is humility and courteous behavior, also known as “respect.” Because God forgives us, we should forgive others. If we stop and think about how loving and forgiving God has always been towards us, we will learn to extend the same level of forgiveness to others. God forgives us, though He did absolutely nothing to cause us to sin against Him in the first place. We must forgive, as He has forgiven us.
Ephesians 4: 31-32 KJV, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” All lying, and corrupt communications that stir up evil desires and lusts grieve the Spirit of God. Corrupt passions of bitterness, wrath, anger, confusion, evil-speaking, and malice, grieve the Holy Spirit. “…And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God…” (Ephesians 4:30 KJV). Provoke not the holy, blessed Spirit of God to withdraw his presence and his gracious influences.
Challenging is exactly what living a Christian life is all about. Why shouldn’t we be challenged? Jesus was tempted in every way that we will ever be tempted; but without sin. I Corinthians 10:12-13 KJV, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
Jesus never sinned against His Father—God! Instead, Jesus faced every challenge as though it was an opportunity to allow God’s power, love, grace, and mercy to show up and show out on His behalf so that God would receive glory!
Stop trying to steal God’s glory for yourselves and learn to live Christian lives in deed…not just in words, for real!