For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
(2 Corinthians 5:14-16 NIV)
Once we make Jesus our Lord and Savior, we are new creations in Christ, the old is gone and all that remains is the new. Whatever we were in the past, is no longer who we are, we have a new identity, a new family – we are now adopted children in God’s family. We don’t have to do ‘works’ to earn God’s love or favor, BUT because we have been changed and because we love God & what He has done for us, we will want to change the parts of us that don’t reflect Christ.
A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
(Matthew 7:18-20 NLT)
Our hearts are meant to love others with compassion, because God is love and as His child – we are capable to freely give the same love that saved us. One very important daily lesson we try to teach our sons as Christians – we don’t just “talk the talk”, we must “walk the talk”. None of us are perfect, somedays it feels like we make more mistakes than others, and that’s exactly why we’re so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father that we can repent and receive His boundless mercy and grace. Making mistakes doesn’t mean God loves us any differently, He sent His Son to die for us when we were all still sinners – God’s love is not moved by our circumstances nor our experiences.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
(Psalm 100:5 NLT)
Being a follower of Christ doesn’t mean we never fail, it just means that when we do fail – we won’t give up. I’ve discovered that most often when I seem to have a string of trials, that’s when the enemy is trying to get me to quit before I can reach the answered prayer God has for me. During those hardships our faith is strengthened and able to grow. Once we’ve made it through to our blessing breakthrough we discover that we are stronger than we ever imagined and we can use our experience to help encourage others.
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
(James 1:2-4 Voice)