December 6 I Monday
1 John 5
“Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’” —Galatians 3:8
The great outworking of the gospel is evidenced in the impact it has on others around us. It is the Holy Spirit who first draws us to God, but we come to know Christ because God has chosen to use other people to be the means of reaching us.
Abraham was set apart to ultimately be a blessing to the nations of the world. For that to be accomplished, God had to first work in him to make him the man he needed to be. That was neither quick nor easy, but involved a long process of leading, teaching, molding, testing and correcting. It will be for us also. God has to work in us first, what He will, then work out through us.
When we are brought into relationship with Jesus Christ, we find ourselves in a new relationship with the world. We share God’s love for the world and we share His deliberate reaching into the world. But we do not reach down to the world from a pedestal of accomplishment or status. We reach the world through frailty and brokenness. In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he writes about Jesus, “…who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8).
The reason Paul wrote this was to say, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). We do not bless our world by shouting truth at them, but by identifying ourselves with them, and being among them in love as Jesus was among people in love. A deep work of conforming our mind and disposition to that of Jesus has to be done in each of our own lives. We first have to be recipients of love and humility before we can be transmitters of it.
We must live humbly, carefully, lovingly and obediently. This alone will penetrate the hearts and lives of other people. Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37-38). To experience the outworking of the gospel, we must first come ourselves and drink deeply of the water of life, which is Christ Himself. Out of the fullness of our hearts there will then flow the love of Christ to others.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You for living and working in me so that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me drinking deeply from the living water that is Your life poured out for us. Thank You, God.