Ephesians 2:3-4 NLT
'All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much…'
For years, I drove my family to distraction with my low boredom threshold and tendency to wear my heart on my sleeve. At times, I was loud, bombastic and acerbic with my comments. Jayne helped me by being brave enough to challenge my behaviour and by reminding me of the resource I had in Jesus. After all, what is it to become a Christian if not to be born again?
This is the great mercy of God’s incarnation and salvation. I no longer need to live according to my natural instincts. I am changed in status and in character if I choose to live the Christian life. This is mercy writ large. It took a number of years for me to recognise my own self-centred arrogance and explore the nature of humility revealed in the Gospels. Jesus led a life of service where the welfare of the ‘other’ was uppermost in his mind. His humility did not turn him into a victim but gave him the self-assurance to embrace the cross and in his hours of agony, continue serving others.
When younger I all too easily justified my behaviours to myself and to others. It took Jayne’s direct challenge to awaken me to the realities of how such behaviours made her, and by association, others, feel. That did not make for pleasant learning. I had the capacity because of the Spirit of God made available by God’s mercy through the cross to change my way of life. It took effort, yet by God’s mercy I found my true self and the way of discipleship that had eluded me for so long. Concepts became practical realities. I no longer had a Christianity of the mind but a robust Christian way of living.
QUESTION: Has there been a key moment in your life when your discipleship was taken to a deeper level?
PRAYER: I want to grow as your disciple, Jesus, to no longer be conformed to the world around me, but to be transformed into your likeness.