Today is the first day of Fall, but I feel like we’ve been falling for quite some time!
- Falling for fear
- Falling for anger
- Falling for pride
- Falling for division
- Falling for acceptance
Why are we falling for all of these things? I believe it’s because we’ve lost our bearings in the storms buffeting us on all sides. We’ve let go of our anchor, our hope and our truth.
“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18-20 NLT).
An anchor needs something to grab hold of in order to work. Our anchor is hope, but where does our hope lie? It lies in our faithful God, whose love is unfailing and whose promises are unchanging. Setting our hope firmly in our heavenly Father’s character prevents us from falling completely into fear. His plans and purposes for our lives will come to pass, even when we don’t understand or see how any possible good could come out of our circumstances. Whatever you’re facing today, it’s not the end! There’s more to come! Not even death can foil God’s plan.
Not only is He holding us securely, He wants us to come to Him with our fears and worries and doubts and questions . . . nothing is too much for Him to handle. He loves us more than we could ever imagine!
Take some time today and remember where your anchor rests, and in turn Who steadfastly holds your anchor. Talk to God about what’s trying to pull you under the waves today, and let Him lift you up.
“We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and your love for all of God’s people, which come from your confident hope of what God has reserved for you in heaven. You have had this expectation ever since you first heard the truth of the Good News” (Colossians 1:3-5).
Our hope of things to come should produce two important things in our lives: faith and love! Where hearts are full of faith and love, is there room for anger, pride, and division? We have been ransomed out of darkness into light by the precious blood of Christ, and we are no longer to live for ourselves but for Him who purchased our freedom. Anger, pride, and division don’t belong in His house or in His children, but many are falling headlong into all three. Have we forgotten Paul’s admonition about what to fill our minds with and how to treat one another?
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8).
“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Philippians 2:1-4).
Living in harmony with other believers requires humility. Yes, there are injustices to be overcome, wrongs to be righted, and needs to be met, but none of us is going to get the solution right every single time. We need one another!
Is there a relationship in your life that has been affected by anger, pride, or division? How can you seek reconciliation through humility and love?
“May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Romans 15:5-7).
If we are busy looking for acceptance in the world by taking a stand and raising our voice for one of the many issues screaming for our attention these days, perhaps we have forgotten whose acceptance matters most. When we stand before God, will we really care about how many followers we accumulated on social media or how influential our words became here on Earth? I’m thinking those things will be far from our minds. All our hearts will be crying for is acceptance in his eyes. If we’ve put all of our hope and trust in what Christ has accomplished for us, we know we are accepted! We belong. “So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son” (Ephesians 1:6).
So then what should flow out of that acceptance? We are to accept others the same way! We certainly didn’t deserve what Christ did for us. Our acceptance of others should not depend on whether or not they deserve it either.
And all of this is for what? My friend, I know this comes as no shock, but . . . it’s not about you. It’s all about living for the glory of God. Our lives are to be growing more and more like Christ, and less and less like the world around us.
Jesus prayed for us, “May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me” (John 17:23b). He didn’t pray for us to be super strong or super wise or super good at communicating or super debaters or super good-looking, but He did pray for us to live in unity, and that prayer hasn’t expired!
We have a calling, friends. Let’s rise to the occasion!