To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
January/February 2016 Issue – Alive, ‘… because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ’ Ephesians 2:4-5
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
2 Corinthians 5:1-10 (NIVUK): “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due to us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”
In today’s study, Selwyn talks about the matter of establishing right biblical goals.
He says: “How do we go about setting a right goal – a goal that can in no way be undermined, uncertain or unreachable? The apostle Paul tells us in the text before us today. He informs us that his overarching goal in life was to please God. …
When you set for yourself the goal of pleasing God then, when something unpleasant happens, such as being overlooked for promotion, being criticised by someone, receiving a financial setback, being betrayed by someone close to you, your response will be, ‘How can I please God in the way I handle this?”
This is good advice, and echoes a popular saying, ‘What would Jesus do?’ And to answer this question we need to have spent a lot of time in the gospels, getting to know (with the Holy Spirit’s help) how Jesus responded to the various challenges that He faced while here on earth.
I found that when something unpleasant happened to me, there was an initial desire to seek justice, however, after a lot of prayer I was often led to let the issue go and leave it in the hands of God. I was always amazed when a bad situation was often turned around in unexpected ways, which usually led to a good outcome. God works in mysterious ways that we just don’t foresee – we just need to trust in His amazing love.