Yesterday we saw that ‘love’ is to be the hallmark of a Christian. If we truly want to publicly publicize our faith and have the world identify us as one of Jesus’ disciples, then we are to put our money where our mouth is, and let our love for fellow man be our defining characteristic. And it was not to be any old ‘love’ either, but

“…that you love one another; as I have loved you,…” John 13:34

And that is difficult; because, let’s face it, no one can love as Christ did. Can you, when you know that all things have been given to you, sacrifice for another as Christ did for you? Can you, when you know that you are ‘king of the world’ and that you are about to return to God the Father, even stoop to washing your best friend’s feet? Much less the feet of those who will probably never understand the gravity of your upcoming sacrifice?

We will never be as consistently self-sacrificial as Christ was, so what’s the point of even trying? We will never be able to measure up to God’s exacting standards, so why bother? We will never be able to lead the perfect life, so why be Christian?

Well, beloved, if you have ever thought that way, then this is a good time for us to remind ourselves just what the point of being Christian is. For you see,

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9

And “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

So let met cut to the chase and tell you that this is the reason why we bother, this is the reason why we should be Christian, this is the reason why we should love one another, because

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

You see, being Christian, isn’t about giving to God, but about receiving from God. For when Jesus said,

“…and it will be given to you; …and you will find; …and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

The verbs in question were not ‘give’, ‘strive’ and ‘toil’; they are ‘ask’, ‘seek’ and ‘knock’. Being a Christian; believing that Jesus came to die for us and because of that, we are free from the consequence of our sin because He bore them for us on the cross; entitles us to a life of protection and provision from our Father. Yes, you read it right, we are ‘entitled’. But isn’t that a little presumptuous of me to think like that?

Not at all, because

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

And where do children reside, if not in the Father’s house? Don’t take my word for it, Jesus Himself said,

“Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever.” John 8:35 [AMP]

So that is why Paul says

“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMP]

This is the point of being A Christian, to be saved and to be eligible to receive provision and protection from God. That truly is the life of A Christian.

So why then should we BE Christian? Why should we do as Christ did to all those around us who would receive us? This is why.

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

Notice that there is a condition that is set to you being ought to love one another; and that condition is ‘if God so loved you’. ‘If’, because if you don’t feel that God has loved you, then loving one another will become a chore, and God doesn’t want that.

You see, what God really wants is for our expressions of love to be an extension of our realization of just how loved we are. And for as much as we realize that we are loved, let that be the extent to which we love. That is the reason why Jesus said,

“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” Matthew 6:2-4 [MSG]
Caught that last bit? That is the way, yes, realize that that is the way your God, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

Our expressions of love are nothing more than ways and means for us to truly reflect and realize just how and how much our Father loves us. ‘Stop and smell the flowers time’ if you like, take stock of our lives and make sure that we don’t miss the wonderful instances of provision and protection that our Father has given. For truly,

“…love is of God…” 1 John 4:7

And “… love is (springs) from God…” 1 John 4:7 [AMPC]

“…and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].” 1 John 4:7 [AMPC]

We love not because we want credit for ourselves. We love not because we want to show off just how good a person we are. We love so that we can have an opportunity to reflect on just how much we HAVE BEEN loved.

And you know what? When we do that, when we realize just how loved we are and how well taken care of we are, the days ahead get that much brighter, simply because we know that

“I’ve been carrying you on my back
from the day you were born,
And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old.
I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray.
I’ve done it and will keep on doing it,
carrying you on my back, saving you.” Isaiah 46:3-4 [MSG]

It’s a strange concept for those of us who are new to thinking this way, but we really do need to have a paradigm shift in the way we see service, and recognize it for what it truly is; a means to sensitize us to the extent of our Father’s love for us. For how could we have had the means and heart to serve if they were not first given?

Beloved, the point of being A Christian is so that we can enjoy the love of our Father; the love that provides and protects us for all of our days. And the reason why we BE Christian to those around us, extending the love of our Father to them, is not only so that souls will be won for Him, but so that we ourselves will come

“…[progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him].” 1 John 4:7 [AMPC]

So let’s go out there and be Christian to all who would receive us, so that we ourselves will realize just how much our Father loves us.

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