To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
September/October 2016 Issue – Fruitful, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’ Galatians 5;22-23
The text set for today’s reading and meditation (the key verse is highlighted):
2 Corinthians 5:11-21 (NIVUK):”Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. If we are ‘out of our mind,’ as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you.
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!
All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Main point: Sacrificial love (agape) is God’s love as seen in His indwelling Spirit and Jesus.
Summary: The different forms of love (as described in the Greek language): philia (affection between friends), storge (love between family members), and eros (love between the sexes) are all modified by God’s love.
The love between sexes which is getting a lot of coverage in a number of discussions on some current issues must be viewed through the lens of God’s love. Sacrificial love as demonstrated by God’s very nature, means that all other forms of love, must be compatible with His holy love – and must never take priority over His holiness and justice.
Sadly sacrifice is not acceptable to those who see this life as our main purpose for existence.