For Christ’s sake: Let’s work on all of our relationships
Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 1, 2015
By the Rev. Willie Denson
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32, KJV.
When I was a little boy, there was a lady that we called Mrs. Charlotte who lived across the street from us. She was very kind, but I don’t think I have ever known a tougher person or harder worker.
Her house was always spotless and you couldn’t get in her house until you proved to Mrs. Charlotte that no sand was on your feet.
One of the things that she did very well was make what she called tea cakes.
She would bake them, bring them piping hot over to our house and give them to us.
They were absolutely delicious! So, anytime she called me to do little odd jobs for her, I would run to her thinking there just might be a tea cake in it for me. Sometimes she would invite me to dinner and I would accept, even though I didn’t like her cooking other than the tea cakes. She always said this grace before each meal, “Lord, we thank you for this food that we are about to receive for the nourishment of our bodies for Christ’s sake, Amen.”
Now, I find myself saying it before each meal and it has become a memorial to her because I always remember her each time I say it. At that time, I didn’t understand why she always said “for Christ’s sake” each time because Christ was not eating the meal, we were.
Well, let’s unpack this scripture so that we may understand it better. In this verse, Paul is referencing four relationships. The first relationship that is plainly referenced in the verse is the relationship we have with each other. The second is the relationship that we have with God which is only possible through the third relationship that we must have with Christ.
We must believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus Christ is the son of God. When we make our confession of what has happened in our hearts we are saved from the penalty of sin, because Christ died so that we may live and because of our confession, we gain a relationship with God through Christ.
The fourth relationship that is implied in the verse is the relationship that the father has with the son.
He loves him with a love that cannot be measured or fathomed by our finite minds. So when we go to God asking for anything we can’t go asking in our name or for our sakes, we must ask in the name of Jesus and for his sake.
“For Christ’s sake,” let us work on all of our relationships.