March 7, 2021

Proclaiming Christ

Stand up and tell them everything that I command you. 
Jeremiah 1:17
There are two things that often get in the way of the Christian walk—both of them seemingly good... at least on the surface. The first is that our goal as Christians should be to enjoy the blessings of Christ. These include healing and peace of mind. To the selfish, they even include power and wealth. To too many, they include being right and proving others wrong. To too few, they include humility and the assurance that God is with us in our suffering.

Another goal of many Christians is morality and respectability. God indeed calls us to integrity and higher standards. But this is a byproduct of Christianity. It is not an end, but a means.

We too seldom remember that our first calling as Christians is to share. When Jesus called the fisherman from their nets, he did not tell them they'd be hoarding blessings or that they would suddenly become moral or respectable. He called them to invite others into the same relationship with God that they now had. We can do this through preaching and witnessing with the words we speak. And we can do this by living Christ-like lives. But whether through word or deed, let us first proclaim the love of Christ to our own inner selves by thinking charitable thoughts and practicing forgiveness in our hearts.

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord.
 2 Corinthians 4:5
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
Help me to proclaim your love and forgiveness first to myself, Lord, and then to my neighbors.
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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