It’s In the Little Things

It’s the little things that count!

 

Through our ongoing study in 1 Cor. 13 each Sunday morning this summer, the Lord has been clarifying the various dimensions of how we’re to love one another in Christ.  One of the striking implications is that this holy love is to be cultivated day-by-day, and moment-by-moment.  In other words, we’re to love each other not simply in sensational, extraordinary, grandiose ways, but in the very routine, ordinary, and seemingly mundane rhythms of our daily lives.  It’s not just dying to self, and putting others interests above our own in the “big things”, but doing this in a thousand and one little ways every single day.  R.C.H. Lenski says it well:

 

“Paul does not describe love in its greatest works, sacrifices, martyrdoms, triumphs; he goes into the ordinary circumstances of life as we meet them day by day and shows us the picture of love as it must be under these…(So) be a true, everyday Christian in the exercise of love, then all great triumphs of love will take care of themselves.  He who fails in the ordinary works of love will not even have an opportunity when the supreme moment for the performance of the extraordinary arrives.”  (The Interpretation of St. Paul’s 1st & 2nd Epistles to the Corinthians, p. 561)

 

As you consider how God would have you to keep “pursuing love” (1 Cor. 14:1), in the power of His Holy Spirit, think about practical ways He would have you to sacrificially love the specific people who are a part of your daily life – in your home, in the church, and beyond.  For their good, His glory, and the spread of the Gospel.

 

And rejoice all the more that our exalted Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, perfectly loves you moment-by-moment, into eternity!

 

Growing with you,

Greg

 

Fellowship in Christ

As Paul begins his first letter to the local church of Corinth, he reminds them of their identity and connection with the larger body of Christ:

 

To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours…(1 Cor. 1:2)

 

In this context, what a special time we had this last Lord’s Day evening, as we gathered with a few other local churches to share in the Lord’s Supper together.  It was a joy to be tangibly reminded of the fellowship we share with saints in other places, in and through the work of the Lord Jesus.  As we sang, prayed, heard God’s word read and preached, partook of the meal together, and talked with one another, Christ seemed to be uniquely ministering among us – encouraging, instructing, convicting, comforting, and strengthening our faith in Him and the living hope He’s called us to.  Like many others, my heart was filled with thankfulness!

 

Lord willing, we’ll have other such opportunities in the future.  And by the way, you can find Pastor Nick Haight’s excellent sermon from Ecclesiastes on our RCG Website.

 

Because He lives,

Greg

Philippians 2:1-11

“1 So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

True Love is Humble

True love is a humble love; and that love which is not humble, is not truly divine.”  (Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits, pg. 144)

 

Our Lord and Teacher Jesus Christ, in every moment of every detail of His incarnate life, personified this divine, humble love.  How can it be that the eternal, holy King of Kings would stoop to serve sinners such as us, by suffering on the cross as a substitute for us?  We can never explain it, but only marvel, rejoice, and strive to be faithful stewards of His love in other people’s lives.

 

Reflecting on the lesson and meaning of Jesus washing His disciples’ (Jn. 13:1-17), Edwards further observes, “If our Lord and Master is humble, and we love Him as such, certainly it becomes us who are His disciples and servants to be so too, for surely it does not become the servant to be prouder or less abased than the Master.”  (Ibid., pg. 151)

 

Beloved, the next time we’re tempted to think, “I shouldn’t have to love that person,” or “loving this person is beneath me,” let us look afresh in faith to our Lord and Teacher, Jesus Christ.  And in the power and pattern of His humble love, let us gladly minister the same to one another.

 

Growing with you,

Greg

Sober, Saturated, Steadfast, and Standing

A week has now passed since the United States Supreme Court announced its historic decisions regarding homosexual marriage.  Though we are rightly saddened and troubled by the continual outworking of sin in this world, we should not be surprised.  The activity of man’s rebellion against God Almighty has been multiplying ever since Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Hos. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5).  As the moral fabric of our country keeps eroding at a breathtaking pace, God’s will for us as His people is clear and unchanging.  By His strength, we must be sober about sin and God’s judgment (Rom. 1:18-32); saturated with God’s grace and truth in Jesus Christ (Jn. 1:14-18); steadfast and humble in our calling as God’s “mercied” ambassadors (Titus 3:1-8; 1 Pet. 2:9-12); and standing firm in the eternal hope of God’s grace in Christ (1 Pet. 5:12).

 

For some additional perspectives about the Supreme Court decisions, and how Christians should respond, you might read the following:

 

 

Beloved, God has called us to be fully assured in the hope of the Gospel (2 Pet. 1:10-11), fully unashamed in the saving power of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16), and fully committed to the ongoing proclamation of the Gospel (Acts 1:8).  Our message and mission on this earth has not, and never will, change.  For a solid reminder of the sweeping, eternal grandeur of the Gospel, check out this 10-minute video from Matt Papa.

 

In the Living Hope of Jesus,

Greg