Life can be nasty – and that includes people. You are not always treated fairly. In fact, people can be downright mean and demeaning. Businesses can also make life miserable, while everyday transactions can drain your energy, if not your life, away. Living in this type of environment can often be at the root of the way you respond in difficult times. Jesus provided the perfect example for you to follow. He never took difficulties and attacks
Jesus was so perfectly aligned with His Father in heaven that His Father’s life easily flowed through Him. God wants the same for you, but it will only happen by making Jesus Lord of your life. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter illustrated conditional Lordship on life’s issues: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” (NIV) Human nature wants to trust God and involve Him in their lives the minutest amount possible. Peter said that he was willing to trust God a little, but not all the way. God wants your all. You never heard Jesus talk about quitting because of the continual setbacks: Jesus’ disciples frequently missing His mission, Judas betraying Him, His disciples deserting Him, the abuse by those to whom He ministered, the scourges He received from the soldiers, the crown of thorns jammed into His head, the weight of the cross, the pain of the nails, the suffocation of crucifixion, or the abandonment of His Father while He was hanging on the cross. There was no limit to Jesus’ trust in God and His forgiveness of others. In the same way, God calls you to love others and live a life trusting Him without limit.
This type of faith and trust in God is not easy or casual, but one that is constantly being refined at the feet of Jesus. Ephesians 5:1-2 tells you to keep your eyes on Jesus: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”(NIV) Do not model your life after the world, those around you, or the daily newscaster. Rather model your life after Jesus, the only One who has the power to transform!
Philippians 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” (NIV)Do you know someone who needs this message on forgiveness? If so, sign them up to receive weekly or forward this devotion to them as a blessing for their growth in Christ.
Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Transformation: Part 1