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Archive for September, 2013

Four Features of Christ’s Love

 

 

Series_Graphic___True_love_931077904

 

1. Jesus voluntarily chose to lay His life down for His people. We see this most vividly in the garden of Gethsemane, and the point is that we must make a conscious effort, on a daily basis, to live sacrificially for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

2. The results of Christ death are life-giving. If our so-called efforts to love our brothers and sisters only occur when it is convenient for us, we can hardly classify that as giving of ourselves.

 

3. True love is always accompanied by truth and never in deception or lies. It lives fully in the light and does not have to hide its actions.

 

4. We are to give out of our abundance, from what we have, to those who have not. Jesus gave His perfect life and sacrificed it for those that were spiritually dead. Therefore, self-giving love gives out of what we are and have to the weakness or lack of others.

 

Source: The IVP New Testament Commentary Series

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charity

“Our subject exhorts us to seek a spirit of love, to grow in it more and more, and very much to abound in the works of love. If love is so great a thing in Christianity, so essential and distinguishing, yea, the very sum of all Christian virtue, then surely’ those that profess themselves Christians should live in love, and abound in the works of love; for no works are so becoming as those of love.

If you call yourself a Christian, where are your works of love? Have you abounded, and do you abound in them? If this divine and holy principle is in you, and reigns in you, will it not appear in your life, in works of love? Consider what deeds of love have you done? Do you love God? What have you done for him, for his glory, for the advancement of his kingdom in the world? And how much have you denied yourself to promote the Redeemer’s interest among men? Do you love your fellowmen? What have you done for them? Consider your former defects in these respects, and how becoming it is in you as a Christian hereafter to abound more in deeds of love. Do not make excuse that you have not opportunities to do anything for the glory of the God, for the interest of the Redeemer’s kingdom, and for the spiritual benefit of your neighbors. If your heart is full of love, it will find vent; you will find or make ways enough to express your love in deeds. When a fountain abounds in water, it will send forth streams. Consider that as a principle of love is the main principle in the heart of a real Christian, so the labor of love is the main business of the Christian life.

Let every Christian consider these things; and may the Lord give you understanding in all things, and make you sensible what spirit it becomes you to be of, and dispose you to such an excellent, amiable, and benevolent life, as is answerable to such a spirit, that you may not love only in word and tongue, but in deed and truth.”

Source: “Charity and its Fruits” by Jonathan Edwards

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Sinai Quaked

oxygen

What is it that you need the Lord to do? What seems impossible due to your limited strength? Let me encourage you to spend time today reflecting on  Psalm 68. That’s the Psalm I have chosen for my own meditation this week. Here’s just a few oxygen tanks to breathe deeply from today.

  • Are you lonely? “God makes a home for the lonely” (v. 6).
  • Do you feel vulnerable? “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God” (v. 5).
  • Are you weary? “Blessed by the Lord, who daily bears our burden” (v. 19).
  • Are you defeated? “God is to us a God of deliverances” (v. 20).
  • Are you feeling powerless? “Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God” (v. 8).

Whatever your heart’s need is today, know that the Lord is able. He is the victorious warrior God whose strength knows no end.

 

Source: Paul Tautges

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cross

The Cross also exposes me before the eyes of other people, informing them of the depth of my depravity. If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect son of God was required that I might be saved.

But when I stand at the foot of the Cross and am seen by others under the light of that Cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes. Indeed, the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations.

With the worst facts about me thus exposed to the view of others, I find myself feeling that I truly have nothing left to hide.

Thankfully, the more exposed I see that I am by the Cross, the more I find myself opening up to others about ongoing issues of sin in my life. (Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my struggles with past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?)

And the more open I am in confessing my sins to fellow-Christians, the more I enjoy the healing of the Lord in response to their grace-filled counsel and prayer. Experiencing richer levels of Christ’s love in companionship with such saints, I give thanks for the gospel’s role in forcing my hand toward self-disclosure and the freedom that follows.

Source: Milton Vincent

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