Paul makes it clear that if we’re living according to God’s desire, our first focus – our primary desire – will be the cares, interests, and concerns of others. How does our stewardship – our giving of time, talent, and treasure – support this call?
Labor Day is not a celebration of how great our workforce is, it is a reminder that we are called to be something greater than we have been before. Hebrews 13 offers a similar call to the faithful. It is not a text of how great we are at living our faith, it’s a call to how much greater we should be as a people of faith.
It’s hard to image a world with no war, no competition, no division, and no sorrow. For us, it might even be unimaginable. But, this is exactly the body God has created in Christ. This is exactly the body empowered by God with the Spirit. This is the beauty of humanity formed by God in creation.
Too often, we try to claim that if one is to be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, they must act, think, feel, look, and be like us. Yet, God’s will claims our limited knowledge is just that, limited. To be faithful to God’s will, we must be resilient in our humility, to acknowledge that God is definitive for justice, and that we must humble ourselves to receive God’s will as truth.
Paul makes a compelling argument that if you’re going to live by the law, you will be held accountable to all the laws. Or, you can live by Christ. Is it really that simple?
We have all been given great gifts that God desires to be used to offer a welcoming presence whereby all can come to know the love of God. How are you using the gifts you have been given to welcome others?
It’s too easy to name excuses for why we don’t “Love thy neighbor.” We argue about who is our neighbor, and what it means to love them. So let’s start simple, and close to home. Do you know the names of your neighbors? No excuses, you can’t love well who you don’t know.
Too often we are expected to follow along without knowing why we are doing what we are doing. Christian practices are no different, like prayer. Prayer isn’t meant to be a last ditch effort to get the Almighty to save us from our human failures. Prayer instead is an ongoing response to our joy in the Lord.
Many will claim that spirituality is deeply personal, but the Biblical claim is that faithful spirituality is most authentic when shared in the body of Christ.
We tend to act, talk, and think in ways that acquiesce to societal pressures and norms. Yet, God calls us to get past the false pretenses and live in to our grace-given gifts. It takes intentional work to be authentic, but that is Paul’s teaching on living faithfully.