Thursday, August 25, 2016

THE EXAMPLE OF THE CHURCH

Right now, the world needs a living example of the mercy of Christ. Tensions have never been greater. In Europe and the United States, racial tension is sweeping through society, even creeping into churches.
Do not be deluded into thinking that a government can take care of these problems. The costly mercy that’s needed throughout the world can come only from those who have tasted and received such mercy for themselves. And that is the calling of the Church of Jesus Christ. We are to offer a mercy that lays down self for the sake of a brother or sister — and, as Jesus demonstrated, even for an enemy.
STOP AND CONFRONT
I exhort you to stop here and confront this truth. Go no further in your life or ministry — stop all your plans and good works — until you confront the implications of being a member of Christ’s Body. The Lord declares of His Church, “This is My pearl of great price, the Bride for My Son.” Think of what a miracle this is! Think, too, of the great calling of this Body to show mercy to an unmerciful world.
Simply put, mercy looks beyond faults and failures, beyond self-justification. If we truly believed  we wound Christ personally whenever we wound a brother or sister — that what we say and do against a single member of His Body is, as Jesus said, “against me” (see Luke 11:23) — we would work night and day to make everything right. And we would not stop until we were clear of it all.