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The Simple Gospel

If there was one thing that all believers who are new to the faith and those who have walked with the Lord for a long time need to know it would be a simple message. The message would be that in God’s graciousness, he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to suffer, die, and rise from the dead to forgive us- blameless, spotless, and pure from our sinful nature. We are all born into sin, but we are able to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, to turn away from the things that draw us further from a relationship with Christ, and to learn from Christ how best to live our lives on earth. That being said, this simple message of the gospel has great depth and mystery attached to it. Do you ever reflect on the selfless and overwhelming love of Christ to willingly take on such a brutal death for us? It often brings me to tears when I meditate on the level of love and sacrifice it takes to die for people who may not ever acknowledge or accept the truth of who you are and what you have done. It must have been such a scary thing to know that you are going to die such a painful and gruesome death from birth. He knew this the entirety of his life-that he was going to die by torture, and still, he loved those who would go on to betray him.

This impacted the way I operated as a Christian. The more intimate I became with Christ the less preoccupied I became with the things of the world. When I look at others, I see them with the fresh eyes of Christ. I can see their pain, I can see their joy, and I can see their humanity. I used to see people through my lens and that was a skewed view blinded by my hurts and struggles. So many people say and do things out of their pain and insecurities. Yet, when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and draw into intimacy with Christ the more you see others as Christ sees them. I no longer stand in fear of self-preservation of my self-esteem but rather as an opportunity to pour out of myself reckless love, patience, grace, and gentle compassion. This is the golden rule in Matthew 7, to love others as we would want to be treated. Jesus exemplifies that in the way he walked out of his life and ministry. He walked with humility, kindness, and compassion. He loved even his enemies in such a powerfully confounding way. He desired to love others unconditionally.

We are all invited to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We are all invited to love those who have hurt us and to live our lives day to day with eyes that see others as Christ sees us. It is in Christ that we can fully go through a transformative experience over time. It may not be overnight, although it is for some, but it is readily there for the taking if people want it. So with a simple message like that of the Gospel, we see a powerful life-changing truth of who our God is and to whom we love, accept, and serve. Jesus is worth our every breath, and it is in holy reverence we can choose to look and love like Jesus. My prayer this month is that people will soften their hearts to the reality of who Christ is for us all and learn to walk radically in love intimately with him in their lives. In accepting Him it is without a doubt that you will transform the lives around you.

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