Sunday, October 28, 2012
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." - John 15:12 The word love is often defined as "a feeling". The world constantly confuses love with its concept of romance, and regularly produces films and books that are called "romantic" that have no trace of real love. Love, however, has been defined by the Lord, and has been given an absolute concrete standard. The standard of love, given by the One Who created love is found in Jesus Christ. He has loved us by sacrificing Himself for us at the Cross. This is the love that will flow forth from the one whose eyes are fixed upon Jesus Christ. This a ready test for each of us to know if we are abiding in Him. Is your love for your spouse, your children, your neighbors of this character and quality? Is it characterized by the willingness to seek after the very best of the beloved one, regardless of the cost? That is Christ's love. That is Christ's commandment.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
"Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Hebrews 2:14-15 A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens tells the story of a man (Dr. Manette) who was locked away in a tower for most of his life, losing nearly all of his mental capacity. As he lost his mind Dr. Manette made shoes to pass the time. In the book he is freed from prison and restored to his daughter, Lucie. Slowly, carefully, he is nursed back to health. However, even recovered, traumas cause him to retreat to the prison of his mind and he begins to make shoes again. Such is the life of the believer. We are free forever from the fear of death and the power of sin; yet, we can easily return to the prison patterns that we develop apart from the freedom of the Lord. However, just as Lucie could always pull Dr. Manette back, so looking to Christ alone can draw us back from our old "prison patterns."
Sunday, October 14, 2012
"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:20 My wife and I lived in South Korea for about a year and a half. A South Korean friend once told me, "You completely changed my view of Americans. I had some bad experiences and I thought that was just how Americans were, but since I met you I had to change my perception completely." I took this as a great compliment. Most unbelievers have a certain perception and expectation of "Christians". They may have built these prejudices from the media, from what someone else has said, or from personal experiences. With every day we have an opportunity as ambassadors for Christ to show the life, love, grace and truth found in the Lord Jesus Christ. This is only possible, however, as we rest in Jesus Christ and abide in His life. Part of the Lord's work in us on this planet is to let others see the Person, character and life of Jesus Christ in us.