Mon 02 Jun
City Light: Monday, June 2
It took a long time for the scientific world to accept the idea that the earth was spinning and circling around the sun, rather than our planet being the centre of the universe.
Isn’t that our nature? We tend to see things through our own perspective. Although it is necessary and natural for us to care for self, how do we take the next step to move beyond ourselves to follow the way Jesus directs, "Love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:31, NIV). How do we start seeing others as valuable as ourselves? How do we become other-centred?
The change begins when we step out of our thinking that everything spins around us. We take ourselves out of centre stage. To become other-centred is to begin to form another perspective - God’s perspective. We read in John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. This verse enables me to fathom that I’m not the only one who is important to God. There is a world full of people who God loves and wants His followers to participate in reaching.
As God affirms His love for us all, He also challenges us to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34, NIV). In submission to God, we choose to change our hearts in how we think of our neighbours and how we treat them. We try to live our lives with God’s prescription. We begin to practice intentional living. We begin to seek to please the One who challenges us to live this way. That means loving your neighbour as yourself. We’re not in the center anymore.
Intentional living starts to happen when we value God and His goals, and start living for Him. We start looking about - where can we show His mercy and love? We start to demonstrate grace - undeserved kindness to others just because we have had lavish love and selfless forgiveness poured on us. We begin to want to share the peace and joy we have in Him. We begin to want to love because He loved us first. We start to see other people as ones that God loves. We desire to become His hands, His feet, His voice, His love to others. No longer are we living to please ourselves, but we are living to please Him. His Spirit is alive in us and the fruit of this Spirit is becoming visible and appealing to others.
We used to look inwards to appropriate all for ourselves. We now look outwards to let God’s will be done. While still in the earthly, we’re elevated to work in the spiritual realm, in God’s service to bring others to know and trust Him. We’re in the process of becoming God-centred and others-centred.
Just as a stone sends ripples concentrically outwards when dropped in the water, we too as people, send out ripples. Not for our glory, to look clever or powerful or sophisticated, but to bring glory to God by reflecting Him, being His followers and doing His purposes here on earth. When God has touched our lives, our interactions with others have a human effect as well as a spiritual effect. Those ripples radiate outwards to affect many lives, point the way to abundant life and bring glory to God. Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NLT), describes in another way how our lives impact others for God - “We are the letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This letter is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.”
Not only do we have the privilege of being in God’s service to draw others to Him, but He indwells us to give us a heart full of love, compassion and tenderness. His Spirit does a work in us to fill and equip us for His service, and give us joy in serving. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors; you will be my people, and I will be your God". Ezekiel 36:26-28 (NIV)
Ask God to give you the love and power through His Spirit to fill you, and to equip you for other-centred living. In Philippians 4:13 (NLT), we read "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength”. He will give us the will and the way to be content in being vessels for Him. Directing our steps to bring about His purposes through our lives.
Doris is a former elementary school teacher who continues to work with children in the role of coach during the Sunday morning children’s program, kidmax. She is privileged to share life with her husband, Pastor Rick Wukasch, and both continue to support vibrant family relationships with their three grown sons. Doris enjoys learning and growing in the Lord, ministering to her family, serving others in Home Church. Drawing and painting, tending the home and garden, reading and spending time in God’s creation.