To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
2 Corinthians 13:1-14 (NIVUK): “This will be my third visit to you. ‘Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: on my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me.
He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong – not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored. This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority – the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”
In today’s study, Selwyn moves on to a new topic, he writes: “Again we move on and consider a further step we can take to heighten our awareness of God’s presence in our lives: break decisively with all known sin. Nothing blunts the awareness of God’s presence in our lives as much as continuing to think or act in ways of which God cannot condone.”
Selwyn’s advice is extremely important; I have witnessed the complete collapse of people’s spiritual lives because of their refusal (unwillingness) to break decisively with all known sin.
The one area I liked was the five questions used by a man, known by Selwyn, to review weekly his spiritual life:
- ‘Have I been truthful and honest?
- Have I been impure?
- Have I allowed bitterness to take root in my heart?
- Has love been my motive in everything?
- Have I sought God’s glory – or my own glory?’
Selwyn then asks us, in regard to question one: “How do you and I stand in the light of that searching question today? You see, truth in inviolable. … Can you be depended on to tell the truth – no matter what the cost?”
I recommend that you spend some time in prayer asking God to show you if there are any areas in your life where unrepentant sin lurks and then – with the assistance of His amazing power – deal with it, once and for all. Your life depends upon it.