THE LIVING GOSPEL FROM THE LIVING JESUS LEADS TO LIVING FAITH

1 Corinthians 15:3-8

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

This dysfunctional church had become so concerned about themselves that they had forgotten the gospel which brought them to Christ. In addition to Paul’s rebukes, corrections and training in this letter, he wanted them to be clear that the gospel was all about Jesus. Paul had received it directly from Jesus. The essence of the message was that Jesus died to pay the punishment of our sins, and that He was raised to life on the third day . Jesus is therefore the only living Saviour.
 
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ was a historically unique event. Despite being mummified in linen strips which wrapped over 30 kilogrammes of burial spices against His body (John 19:39-40), He was seen alive by many people. Paul gives a little list of some of them: Simon Peter, the other disciples, His brother James; and on one occasion, five hundred people all saw Him at the same time. Paul’s comment, ‘most of whom are still living’ meant that if anybody doubted, they could go to the eye witnesses and check. The evidence for the resurrection is overwhelming.
 
But for Paul, his own encounter with the risen Christ was just as remarkable. He describes himself as ‘abnormally born’. Although he was not one of the original disciples, his appointment to apostleship came after Jesus had personally confronted him on the Damascus Road. Paul did not want to become a disciple; he had violently opposed the church and Jesus, persecuting Christians and throwing them into prison. He certainly did not want to be converted and yet God chose Him. Then, and as he surrendered to the Lord, Jesus personally commissioned him as an apostle (Acts 22:1-16).
 
The resurrection was an essential part of Paul’s evangelism (Acts 24:21) . It proved that God had accepted Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, and so we may be spared God’s wrath and be made right with Him (Romans 5:9-10) . It proved that Jesus is alive and therefore it is possible to enter a relationship with Him, and to receive Him. It proved that death is not the end for the believer. It proved that there is a life to come and that in the meantime, we can have confidence that His grace is sufficient for us. It also proved that those who die in Christ will also be raised with new and perfect bodies. So, the resurrection should give us confidence in our witness today and hope for every tomorrow. Deny the truth of the resurrection and you are left with a dead religion following rules you have no power to keep. Proclaim the resurrection and you will start some very interesting gospel conversations about the unique and living Jesus.

Living Lord. Thank You that Jesus is alive, and that all who trust in Him will be raised with new bodies when He comes again. I am sorry that I have not cherished this part of the gospel as I should, nor proclaimed it as I might. Please teach me again the essential importance of the resurrection and then help me to speak to my friends and colleagues about the Lord Jesus who is alive and wants to be in a real relationship with ordinary people like me. In His Name. Amen.

THE FIRM AND SECURE GOSPEL

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Most of this letter was to rebuke and correct the wrong teaching and practice in the church at Corinth. They had been spiritually side-tracked, as demonstrated by their wrong behaviour. So Paul concluded the letter by encouraging them to refocus on the true gospel about Jesus, His death and resurrection. The faith of the church can never rest on Christian morals and doing good (Ephesians 2:8-9). It must rest on Jesus who died to pay for the punishment our sins deserve, and who was raised to make us right with God (Romans 4:25) . Nothing should matter more to sinful human beings: and there is no better message to announce to a corrupted world (Acts 4:12).
 
The gospel was not invented by anyone. It was received by the apostles directly from the Lord. Paul’s experience was unusual and dramatic, but no less valid (Galatians 1:11-20) . It was not Paul’s gospel but Jesus’ gospel: the people in the church had believed what Jesus revealed to the apostles … they were trusting Jesus. Paul’s role was to package and deliver the message in ways that different people could understand (1 Corinthians 9:22). When Paul preached, the Holy Spirit enabled people to receive the gospel in repentance and faith, receiving Jesus and being made children of God (John 1:12).
 
The apostolic gospel is the only secure foundation for time and eternity. Some people (like Paul) had been persecuted for believing, but they stood firm on the truth. They were saved for eternity because they trusted in Christ. But some were tempted to follow attractive super-spiritual leaders who offered what their sinful hearts wanted (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Paul said that they could only be assured of salvation by holding firmly to the gospel he preached. If they let go of the apostles’ message there was no other route to heaven, and their membership of the church was meaningless acting.
 
Every generation in the church faces the same challenge. Accept the gospel, packaged and delivered by the apostles, or lose assurance of salvation. ‘Holding firmly to the Word’ is not a Christian option; it is essential for godliness and eternal salvation. Whenever the gospel is changed to make people think that they are saved by good works, religious rites, financial giving, or inventing a new form of personal pietism … its promoters are spiritually dangerous to themselves and their hearers (Galatians 1:9). Protect yourself spiritually by reading God’s Word, agreeing with it and asking God’s help to do it. There is no other way forward except by standing firm in the grace of Christ .
 

Dear Lord. Thank You that I can be completely assured of Your grace to me as I stand firm on the true gospel, trusting what You have said. Forgive me when I have not wanted You to speak to me, nor obeyed what I knew You commanded. Please help me to trust in Jesus, to welcome Your Word and rely on Your grace so that my lifestyle is a response to Your love instead of trying to earn my way to Your presence. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

WHO IS WISE?

1 Corinthians 1:20-21

Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

Wisdom is more than knowledge.  Yes, it is full of truth, but wisdom knows how to apply truth in such a way that God’s purposes are fulfilled and people are blessed by Him.  So wisdom must start with God.  God is the only person who is always wise and never foolish (Romans 16:27), and so we must listen to Him.

By contrast, the church in Corinth was listening to different voices.  Travelling philosophers made a living by sharing their opinions.  Pagan temples spread their cultic (and often immoral) teaching about lifestyle.  The thriving sea-port was a magnet for worldly-wise people who created wealth through corrupt business practice.  So ‘wisdom’ was considered to be proved when it resulted in pleasure, riches, honour or power.  But Jesus achieved none of those things (Philippians 2:6-8), nor did His chosen apostles: so the Corinthian church was attracted to ‘gospels’ which claimed to give prosperity and popularity (1 Corinthians 3:1).

Paul reminded them that God’s wisdom is very different: it leads to heaven and not hell.  Although Christ’s death on the cross was foolishness to Corinthian culture, it is the only way for sinners to be forgiven and have peace with God.  No philosophy could work that out.  It was revealed by preaching the gospel (Titus 1:3).  When people believed the gospel they were saved and found that only through God’s wisdom could they know Him personally, and have eternal life.

False gospels still plague the church.  Seeking the world’s approval has encouraged ‘gospel-modification’ to appeal to people who thrive on pleasure, wealth, popularity and power.  It is a temptation for some church leaders who believe that they have to say what people want to hear.  But the reward of knowing God, and leading others to know Him, far outshines the temporary glitter of powerful money and prestige (1 Peter 1:3-9) .  Choose God’s wisdom.  Leaders: preach the cross of Christ, repentance, forgiveness and costly discipleship.  Believers: trust that the Lord has given you all that you need in Christ and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5).  Most of all, honour the Lord Jesus Christ who died to save you.

Only wise God. Thank You for having chosen a unique way to save the world, through preaching about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for sinners. Forgive me for those times when I have changed the simple gospel message for myself and others – taking away the humility and suffering of Christ and adding personal glory and power for myself. Please help me to accept Your wisdom in every matter, in the church and at work. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

THINK LIKE ADULTS

1 Corinthians 14:18-21

I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults. In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’

Most of the people in the church were adults, and yet Paul urged them to stop thinking as children and grow up. Strong, almost insulting words. It was because their worship meetings had become dominated by people speaking in tongues. God’s Word took a low place and the enjoyment of their spiritual experience took over. It was like children playing with precious family treasures, without realising their full significance.
 
The Apostle often spoke in tongues. But he would choose to restrict his use of the gift to the time when he was in private with the Lord (Matthew 6:6). The church needed to be built on truth and not mystical experience. The local church was modelled more on the synagogue than the temple; it was a place for learning God’s Word – without which there is nothing to obey and the door to evil is wide open.
 
In the Old Testament, God knew His people would stop listening to the prophets so He promised to send His message of judgement through the foreign invaders (Deuteronomy 28:49) , whose language they could not understand. But the task of the church is to proclaim the gospel in a way in which it can be understood – leading towards salvation and away from judgement.
 
It is natural for children to only think about themselves. Without instruction they will not know right from wrong. As adult believers we delight in being a part of the Body of Christ where fellowship should be sweet and serving the Lord is wholesome. And yet we naturally drift back to assert our personal agendas. That is why the church needs to be a place for learning as well as worship, discipleship as well as heartfelt devotion. Pray for your church leaders that they will ensure that priority. Pray for yourself, that you will desire to be an actively learning disciple. Pray for those outside of Christ, that they may hear the gospel clearly and respond in repentance and faith, through your personal ministry and that of your church.

Father God. I am glad to be Your child but know I must grow up in understanding Your will for my life, and how You want to work through me. I am sorry for not giving priority to Your Word, allowing myself to be carried along by the familiarity of church life. Please enable my leaders to keep Your Word as a priority and teach me how I can best please You. Equip me to be of use to You in building Your church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

THE OFFENSIVE JESUS

Mark 6:4-6

Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few people who were ill and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village.

This title does not sound right, somehow.  As believers in Jesus, we believe He is precious.  1 Peter 2:7-8 says, “Now to you who believe, this stone is precious.  But to those who do not believe, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,’ and, ‘A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’  They stumble because they disobey the message”.  Jesus did not cause offence because He was good, but because He is God whose purity exposes sin, whose power reveals the limitations of human ability and whose Word must be obeyed.

People in Nazareth were offended because He spoke with divine authority and did what only God could do (Mark 6:1-3).  As Jesus demonstrated the goodness of God, skeletons of past sin, present pride and future ungodly ambitions jangled within those who refused to believe.  And this was felt most keenly in Jesus’ home town, where He was known and where the ‘leading lights’ were embarrassed that He outshone them. Apart from healing a few people, most stubbornly refused to believe in Jesus.  So, He moved on to other places where people welcomed Him (Luke 4:43).

God’s power is unlimited, and His love is unconditional… but!  The big ‘but’ is that, where there is no faith, God’s blessings cannot be recognised and received with gratitude.  God is not reluctant to pour out His mercy, but unbelieving people refuse to accept it – or thank Him.  Such openness to His divine authority would make Him their Master: and the benefits of the Kingdom only come to those who submit themselves to the King.  And few of His family/friends/neighbours in Nazareth had any intention of doing that (John 7:5).  His holiness was so unnerving that even His relatives wanted to silence Him (Mark 3:20, 31-33).

Is stubborn faithless religion a part of church life today?  Do we think we own Jesus, rather than the other way around?  Are we glad to have Jesus to call on in our need, but are surprised when He fails to do what we command?  When He speaks or acts in a way we do not expect, do we rejoice in His intervention or feel uncomfortable that we are not in control?  Anything short of eagerly welcoming the words and work of Christ in our daily circumstances, poorly advertises Christ to a sick world.  However, true faith (an expectation that Jesus will act in power to glorify His name) is often the prelude to an outpouring of blessing that even the sceptics cannot ignore.  Trust Him and see how God will move some of your friends and colleagues to seek Him and receive His blessing (Matthew 11:6).

Heavenly Father. Thank You that Jesus is your appointed Lord of all, speaking with authority and acting in power. Forgive me for my stubborn heart and refusal to believe that You do all things well. Please help me to trust You that You will speak with authority and act with power where I live and work – so that You can pour out Your blessing to those who are hungry for Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Clarity matters.

1 Corinthians 14:6-9

Now, brothers and sisters, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you, unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of instruction? Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the pipe or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.

Babies make noises. We do not properly understand them, but they are the only language through which they can express their deep feelings. In time, the child hears and repeats words that always mean the same things, associating them with specific people, objects, actions and desires. It is an essential process to enable mature communication, without which constructive interaction and community integration is very difficult.
 
Paul had implied that the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues was like the newborn communication (1 Corinthians 13:11). That kind of intimate conversation should not be forbidden (1 Corinthians 14:39); indeed Paul wished that they all shared their hearts with the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:5) . But the sounds could not make any sense to unbelievers, except to indicate that believers might have a deep personal relationship with God. But it was not gospel communication – because it could not clearly describe the need for salvation, the way of salvation and the response that is necessary.
 
Clarity matters. God uses words to define every truth, including the gospel. The task of the church is to communicate gospel truth to the world, which is in rebellion against God. But unless the message is clear, people cannot understand that the Lord is calling them to repent and believe in Jesus (Acts 2:38) . Instead they will dream up their own gospel, which cannot save. So Paul urged the Corinthian church to grow up. They should focus their times of meeting together on sharing God’s Word, so that the whole church could grow and that unbelievers might grasp the gospel and be saved.
 
The gospel is not an art form for personal interpretation. It is a message, in words, which precisely describes God’s salvation work. Unless sinners know that God commands them to repent and receive Jesus as Lord, how can they enter into salvation? Discipleship demands that clarity too. Unless we know what pleases and offends our Father, how can we be obedient? Art and music invite us to create our own experience. By contrast, the gospel commands us to understand exactly what God is saying, agree with Him and respond in repentance and faith, verbally admitting that we belong to Christ (Romans 10:9-10) . An undefined gospel is no gospel at all because it is what we want it to be – as opposed to accepting God’s truth for what it is. After all, it is His Good News and not our best ideas! The gospel is no longer a mystery, except to those who have never heard it clearly.

God of truth. Thank You for communicating the gospel clearly to me through those who have taught me what the apostles said about salvation. Forgive me for ever being unclear to others about what You are saying, or for mysteriously wrapping up my faith, so that my friends and colleagues cannot be clear about how to receive Your love, mercy and grace. Please help me to tell the gospel truth clearly, so that believers may become obedient and sinners may be saved. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Bedtime Tutorial.

Mark 5:37-40

He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.

The little girl had died (Mark 5:35).  The friends of Jairus, the synagogue leader, told him the bad news and that there was no more need to trouble Jesus.  It was too late.  Nothing could be done.  But Jesus took command of the situation.  Having instructed Jairus to stop being frightened (Mark 5:36) , it seems that Jesus now led the way to the home where the lifeless body lay.  Jesus selected only three of the disciples, who were later to become the leaders of the church in Jerusalem, to witness what He would do.  It was to be a bedside tutorial of the Christ’s power to give new life.

As they approached the house, the Eastern rituals of wailing were heard as crowds of women added their cries to cover the grief of the parents.  But Jesus rebuked them, declaring the girl’s condition as temporary and not terminal.  They laughed and ridiculed the Creator and Life-giver (John 1:1-3) as He put them outside.  Hopeless wailing has no place when Jesus is in charge.  There were now just seven people in the room: Jairus and his wife, Peter, James and John; the little still body and Jesus.  The scene was set for an unforgettable lesson to those trainee apostles, and there was much joy to come for the family (Mark 5:41-42).      

There were enough faithless people around!  Family, friends, the religious crowd and even the disciples were unbelieving – yet Jairus still had the courage, fuelled by his faith in Jesus, to invite the Master to his home.  How often friends can be disastrous distractions from the gospel.  They may ridicule or laugh for seemingly logical reasons, proving their unwillingness to trust Jesus – and resistant to the idea that anybody else should do so. That mockery may discourage embryo faith, but strangely gives a fresh spur to those whose faith is growing.

True faith is confident that Jesus is in command. Cultural frenzy, personal grief or the domination of darkness will cling on up to the last moment; even when the power and authority of God is about to be released.  It was He who was setting the agenda, but the faith of Jairus gave the space for God to act.  Letting Jesus take the helm is an early and essential sign of faith – without which it is impossible to know His transforming power (Hebrews 11:6).  That was the point of the bedside tutorial for the disciples … and perhaps for us too.

Father God Thank You for being in command of every circumstance, and that You know the end from the beginning. Forgive me for the times I have been afraid because I have not trusted You, or have logically concluded that You cannot make any difference. Help me to be willing to submit my will to Yours – as my rule of life – so that I may please You and demonstrate to others that it is safe to give You space to do Your transforming work. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Just As He said It.

Mark 16:6-7

‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, “He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.”‘

The women who had come to Jesus’ tomb in the half light of early dawn were petrified by the appearance of a white and shining angel seated on the rolled-back stone covering the entrance to the burial cave.  They thought their mission would be secret, nobody else would be present (Mark 16:1-3).  They were shattered by the unexpected man who spoke about Jesus being alive.  

One of the most frequent Divine instructions in the Bible is, ‘Do not fear’ (Joshua 1:9) .  That is so gracious.  Any encounter with the Holy God is awesome and, if we are not covered with Christ’s blood, we properly fear judgement.  Fear is, of course, a general response to anything that threatens our life, security or friendships.  The anticipation of ‘things going wrong’ or punishment causes fear (1 John 4:18).  But the presence of God or His special messengers will threaten us even more than our circumstances, unless we know that we are saved from ‘the wrath to come’.  That was a comfort yet to come for these women.

The angel showed that he knew their intentions (even though they had not spoken), and all about Jesus’ whereabouts (which was more than they knew).  He invited them to see the empty burial chamber, and reminded them of Jesus’ last instructions as to where He would meet them (Mark 14:28).  God’s messenger even knew about Peter’s feelings of desperation after his spectacular failure and made sure he got a special mention in the message.  The key to the future for them all did not lie in their hopes (they had none about seeing Jesus alive again), nor in their ability to ‘move on and start again’ (they simply did not want to do that), but in the words of Jesus.

Our feeble emotional resources are often battered and our only hope lies in the Word of God (Psalm 119:147).  The God who knows us, keeps speaking to us through His Word interpreted by His Spirit.  If we did not have the objective reality of God’s written words on physical paper (or digital marks on computer screens), we may fear all sorts of things needlessly.  Not that fear is not natural, but the peace of God is supernatural: it controls our emotions and steadies our minds (Philippians 4:7).  Above all, Jesus assures us that He is alive and well able to deal with everything: and that He is our friend!

Dear Lord God. Thank You for the assurance that You will always keep Your promises, and that You will never leave us alone: so we don’t need to fear. Forgive me for the times when I fear because I am not trusting You to be the Master of my circumstances. Help me to rest in Your peace today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

UNDERSTANDING GOD’S WILL IS VITALLY IMPORTANT

1 Corinthians 14:1-5

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Speaking in tongues had become a dominant feature in the Corinthian church. It appears that this gift was manifested in two ways: as the ability to speak known languages, as on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:6-12); and, as in these verses, making sounds which communicated from the person’s heart to God without going through the limitations of language vocabulary and grammar.
 
The Corinthians thought that this ability was a sign of spiritual power and superiority; but however satisfying it was for the speaker to communicate with God in that way, it had no meaning to other human ears. Paul did not disregard this activity as a genuine spiritual gift, and said that he would like everybody to be able to express themselves to God in this intimate way, as he did (1 Corinthians 14:18). The problem was that nobody else in the church could benefit, unless the sounds were interpreted, and thus it could not build up the church.
 
But the believers should not shy away from spiritual gifts; indeed they should desire them. They should not despise personal encounters with God (1 Corinthians 14:39), but neither should they boast about their mystical experiences (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). Instead they should ask God to give them gifts which would enable other people to understand His will. Prophesying is a general term which includes teaching and preaching. It is designed to explain clearly to God’s people what God likes and hates, and how to please Him. That will strengthen, encourage and comfort His people.
 
This teaching is still needed. Generally, we need to learn the principle that the Lord wants His church to grow up into maturity by understanding what He has said. There is a place for personal intimacy with the Lord but it should be just that: personal, as Jesus taught (Matthew 6:5-8). Public worship should be accessible to all and in a language they can understand. Whatever wonderful mystical experiences God may give to some people, understanding His will is even more important. However significant our personal encounters, the Lord wants to build the whole church. We should not get in the way by advertising our personal experiences and suppressing the teaching of His Word.

Father God. Thank You for giving different spiritual gifts to everybody who trusts in Jesus. I am sorry for the times when I have distracted others in the church from hearing Your voice because I have drawn attention to myself. Please help me to share Your passion to help everybody in the church to grow to maturity by understanding what You are saying to them, and choosing to be obedient. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Love is eternally great.

1 Corinthians 13:13

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

This chapter (1 Corinthians 13) is well known for its description of love but often quoted out of context. Although it is often used at weddings, that was not the reason that Paul wrote it. He was dealing with a church which has been proudly squabbling about which spiritual gift was the greatest (and by implication which of them was the greatest). They assumed that the most spectacular gifts were superior, but failed to see that the gifts glorified the giver more than the receiver.
 
So Paul patiently explained that their motive mattered more than what they achieved; and that the use of any of God’s gifts without genuine love, invalidated their service or ministry. The ‘excellent way’ of using the gifts (1 Corinthians 12:31 b) was with the same kind of self-sacrificial love that Jesus demonstrated. Love therefore endures because God is eternal and God is love.
 
Faith and hope also persist through eternity. ‘Faith’ is trust based on love: it is a decision to commit oneself into the hands of another. If we know that those hands are full of love for us, trust is not a complicated decision; it is just the next step. ‘Hope’ is the confidence that all we have invested in God will be safe and lead to a glorious conclusion. But if we are not confident that He loves us, then hope, (eternal and confident hope) will fade, if indeed it ever started.
 
Love is the unstoppable natural expression of God’s character. It is the basis for faith and hope; and therefore it is superior to both of them. Discussions about faith or hope are meaningless without a confidence that God loves us. Likewise, spiritual ministry is valueless unless we love those we serve. As Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40). Do you love like that?

Loving Lord. Thank You for loving me and calling me to return to Your love. Forgive me when I have assumed that the value in my service is according to what I have done, rather than on how much I love You. Please give me a fresh desire to serve sacrificially because I love You so much. In Jesus’ Name. Amen. 
Notes by
Munya.

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