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The Significance of Our Response

TRANSFORMED


A blog series on being Transformed into the Image of Christ



Have you ever taken the time to think about the power of your response to others? To situations? To God?


How do you respond when you’re angry, hurt or when someone has wronged you? How do you respond when you see someone you love dearly fall into sin? How do you respond when you yourself fall into sin and how do you respond to God’s calling on your life?


For the most part, the motives of our responses are one of two options. One, we respond to fix the problem or right the wrong. This route is a temporary fix for our needs and wants. Two, we respond with the power of the Holy Spirit with the purpose of bringing amends in addition to bringing someone else or ourselves closer to Jesus. How you respond in situations is an indication of true transformation in your life.


Responding to Anger when someone hurts you

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” Ephesian 4:26-27

I would love to tell you that I have never gotten angry. I would also love to tell you that my anger has never provoked me to do the wrong thing. Unfortunately, I cannot do that. I have most definitely gotten angry and there have been more than a hand full of times when anger has been the driving force of the behavior that followed. The revenge or retaliation was not about pointing others to Christ or rectifying a situation for His glory. Instead, it was about me. It was about me being undeservingly wronged. It was about me being treated unfairly, it was about my hurt feelings and my broken heart. The ironic part is that those reactions never fixed any of the problems and certainly never made me any less wronged or feel any better about the situation. Anger is a natural human emotion that can result from a host of cases. It’s what follows the anger that is a picture of the state of our hearts. When we feed into that anger and migrate towards retaliation, God is not honored in that. Vengeful anger opens a door for the devil to intervene and interfere. Proverbs 29:11 tells us that A fool vents all his feelings, But a wise man holds them back. Foolish ways are selfish ways. Fools vent about themselves and their feelings with no regard for restraint or courtesy. It’s just as if they open their mouth and all the emotions that they are feelings come flooding out in hopes to inflict harm on the person that has wronged them. However, a wise man is a transformed man. One that speaks and responds to situations with the goal of showing Christ to others. I don’t want to insinuate that as followers of Jesus we should shut our mouths and keep our thoughts to ourselves. But when dealing with anger and frustration we realize that it can only be overcome through the work of Christ in our lives. Our desire to rectify should be in the hope of leading the other party to a righteous life pleasing to God. We must never think that responding by screaming, yelling, and spouting out hurtful things to the one that has wronged us will ever bring about any change for the better. It’s simply opening the door for the devil to further damage situations and relationships. The next time you are angry – respond in prayer before you ever attempt to handle the dilemma. Ask God to allow you to overcome your anger and if words must be spoken, pray for words that bring about resolution and not retribution.


Responding to Sin in the Lives of Others

“If your brother sins against you, go, and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” Matthew 18:15

As followers of Jesus Christ, the first thing that we should do when we see sin or evidence of sin in one's life is to pray. This is difficult at times because it may be they have sinned against you and caused harmful effects in your life. But regardless, our motive should first be to pull the other out of the muck of sin and it has to begin with direction through prayer. Following this, God will give us the words to speak to the person who has hurt us, someone else, or themselves due to the sin in their lives. As Christians, the fact that our brother or sister in Christ has sinned should bring more grief to our hearts than the fact that we have been wronged. It is most often in these times that this grief our hearts feel will compel us to speak the truth. Not out of anger but instead with the hope of the other repenting and moving closer to Jesus


Responding to sin in our lives


“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:8-10


Recognizing God’s truth should ultimately bring about a response in our lives. When we sin, we have two choices –one, ignore it and cave to it, or two, repent and turn away. There are no little sins. All sins are sins, and they all have consequences and damaging effects on our lives, those around us, and the kingdom of God. If our response to the mistakes and sins in our lives is to ignore or belittle, we are headed down a dangerous path. We open doors for the devil and before we know it, that little thing that we thought was insignificant has brought about disaster. However, the Bible tells us that if we confess our sins to God, he forgives us and cleanses us. In these times of confession, God transforms us and shows us the joy that results from a life devoted to glorifying God through our actions.


Responding to God's calling as Christians

And finally, and most importantly, how should our life be transformed through our response to Christ living in our hearts? Jesus tells us that we should share the best news that anyone could ever hear. Our response to a Holy and loving God that has saved our souls should be to proclaim these truths to a lost and dying world. It is not my intention to step on your toes or sound harsh, my hope instead is to show you the straightforward words that come from God’s Word. We were not called to sit on the comfy pew of a church, listen to the Pastor’s sermons, go home afterward, and leave the work to the pastor alone to build up the body of Christ. Friends, as followers of the one true God, we are the Saints. We are called to work for Christ and live our lives for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. We are to sit under the wisdom and guidance of the ones that God has entrusted to that role, we are to learn and grow in our faith, and then we are to Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Our response to a transformed life in Christ is not to live apathetically giving no attention to our calling, instead, our response is to Go, live a transformed life for Christ, and be an example to the unbelievers with your thoughts, your words, your actions, your love, and your desires. Shine for the One that created you and made you with intentionality and purpose. This is your exclusive reason for existing. Stop thinking that someone else will pursue the calling, stop sitting on the sidelines in fear that someone will do it better, stop being indifferent, unresponsive, unmoved, and uninvolved, and GO. Go to your family, your neighbors, your friends, your coworkers, or to the ends of the earth. Wherever God has called you...GO there! For the sake of the souls that will die and live a life forever separated from their maker –through the transforming power of Christ –GO!


My prayer is through this series, you have seen the goodness, grace, and mercy of a Holy God that has transformed you into His image for His purpose. Understand that we serve a God that is worthy of our praise, our adoration, and our complete surrender in all things. What an honor it is to say, “O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

Now Go my friends, and live transformed through the power of Jesus Christ!

-AMEN


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Our Bible Reading plan this week will cover how Christians should respond.

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Many of us have mastered the disciplines of gathering as a church on Sunday morning, but what does the rest of your week look like? What would it look like for you to have a tool that helped you grow in your relationship with the Lord every day of the week? I can tell you what it looks like because I’ve experienced it! Your relationship is going to grow. You may even realize that you are forming a true relationship for the first time! That’s what Growing in God is all about! Are you ready to take the next step? I want to walk along beside you. Purchase your Growing in God book today and being implementing spiritual disciplines into your life for the purpose of growth in Christ.






 











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