To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2016 Issue – Straight from the Heart, ‘I have you in my heart … all of you share God’s grace with me’ Philippians 1:7
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Philippians 3:10-11 (NIVUK): ””I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
Selwyn spends another day looking at the verses Philippians 3:10-11; and he highlights an important point – we, as followers of Jesus, will participate in His sufferings – if we have not suffered during our walk with Jesus then we are not following Him!
Here’s what Selwyn has to say: “‘I want to know – the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings.’ What can this mean?”
“It means holding shares in Jesus’ sufferings. The resurrection did not cancel out the cross, so that Jesus did all the dying, while we do all the triumphing, No! By raising Jesus from the dead God endorsed the whole self-giving, servant lifestyle that had taken Him to the cross.
So, if we enjoy the power of His resurrection working in us – and by the Spirit we certainly do – then we must realise it is intended to empower us to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings in the real world, to carry the pain of rejection as He carried it, to bear scorn as He bore it. Nothing could be more relevant in today’s Church.”
These words are a challenge to me, it’s very easy to accept the benefits of Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice; it’s another matter to accept that we will suffer – in some way or another – when, we demonstrate to our family, friends and community; our love for Jesus and our commitment to follow His teaching – to the letter (not a watered down, socially acceptable, version).
In regard to Jesus’ resurrection, Selwyn tells us it is the way God ultimately restores His people and demonstrates that they are really His.
[I’ve received some adverse comments about the theology of the Pauline letters, basically saying that Paul does not mirror the teaching of Jesus. This view, is of course, in error.
Here is a good article on the nature of grace, as taught by Paul: Grace. ]