A Crazy Love

“So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well.” 2 Corinthians 12:15a (NIV)

Most people would have looked at Paul’s dedication to the Corinthian church and thought he had lost his mind. Corinth was a city mired in sexual perversions of all stripes and it earned a reputation amongst Christians and non-Christians alike as a place where deviancy thrived. Sadly, even the church of Corinth found itself entangled in the sinful and destructive pleasures of their city. Yet Paul wrote to them saying that he was willing to spend everything on them, both his resources and himself if need be. We might ask why did Paul waste his time and what little wealth he had on these depraved people. But Paul was driven by the love of God which seeks to bring restoration and life through Christ to even the vilest of sinners no matter the cost.

All of us have people in our lives we would prefer to ignore. They are like the Corinthians to us; unlovable in their unwholesome attitudes and degenerate lifestyles. Contempt, perhaps even hatred, fills our hearts whenever they come to our minds and we do not want to have anything to do with them. But if such attitudes are entrenched in our hearts, the love of God is absent from us and we are not contributing to the solution. Being resentful and scornful towards them will not help them along the path to healing. Only the love of Christ can bring hope and renewal to the lives of others. When we have allowed Christ’s Spirit to enter our hearts and transform us by His love, we will want to invest everything we have into those we have deemed unlovable. While we were covered by sin and therefore repulsive in the eyes of a holy God, in His love He reached down to us so that by His blood we are washed clean of our sins and have new life through His resurrection. Compelled by the same love through Christ’s enabling, we will sacrifice all that we have for others knowing that our Saviour did the same for us.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Truth to Stand On

“Your righteousness is everlasting and your law is true.”- Psalm 119:142 (NIV)

Today as I was traveling on the bus, I came across an interesting advertisement. Amongst images of everything pretty, cute, and pleasant on could think of was written, “Dressing it up doesn’t make it true.” It was an advertisement for an organization which helps to expose false messaging in advertising and take them to task. What was more striking was that the sub-heading said, “Truth matters”. In this world it seems that truth has become little more than a personal preference on the lines of a favorite color or what feels good for the moment. But looking at that sign on the bus it was encouraging to know that people still care about objective truth and whether something is universally right or wrong.

As the world comes closer together and new ideas are being constantly churned out, there are many philosophies and worldviews advertising themselves as truth. Wanting to minimize conflict between the plethora of ideas, our culture has taken the position that one truth is just as valid as any other truth. But if truth is simply reduced to something that is dependent on individual preference, we will end up living in an internal contradiction that will lead us into hypocrisy. We will find ourselves condemning a horrendous act in one context yet in the same breath justifying that same act because it took place in a different context. Two contrary ideas cannot exist side by side and there will come a point where we will have to be honest with ourselves and discover what is that objective and absolute truth.

There is only one truth in the world which brings life, and that is found in Christ Jesus. He has revealed His righteousness and law to us through His Word and wants us to be restored through Him. When we have allowed His Spirit to enter our hearts and desire to seek after Him by reading His Word, we will know that His truth is the only way through which humanity can find true hope, healing, and life abundant. If our faith in Christ is based on simply because it feels good for us, then our faith is weak for it is based on human feelings and sentiments that are prone to change and ignore the truth. But when our faith in Christ is based on understanding the truth, our faith in Him will be stronger; having the knowledge to know what is right and wrong so that we may bring life to others by His Spirit.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Strength in Waiting

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” –Psalm 27:14 (NIV)

Waiting can often be unbearable. When something does not work out as planned or things do not get done when and how we want them to, it is easy to become frustrated. Part of our frustration is that when we are forced to be patient, it seems as if we have lost control of our affairs. Instead of us dictating what needs to be done and when, it seems that we are at the mercy of our circumstances. This loss of power over our lives makes us feel weak and plunges us into despair. We lose hope and feel as if we will forever be slaves to our situations, bending to their every whim, and feeling insecure when we compare ourselves with others who seem to have it all together.

In Christ however we are made secure. We fail to see that those moments of waiting are opportunities to develop our strength in Him. When we have allowed Christ to enter our hearts and seek to live according to His Spirit, we will quickly come to understand that His schedule is better than ours. Though with our fallible eyes we cannot see it, He has a wonderful plan in store for us and He will not rest until He has seen it fulfilled in our lives. He is able to use our circumstances and turn them around in order to display His power over our situations and His faithfulness to us.  However, He will do this not according to our timing, but by His flawless wisdom. When we choose to grasp his hand and patiently wait upon Him, He will strengthen us by His promises that everything is under His control. By constantly submitting ourselves to Him and trusting in His wisdom, we will see how good He truly is. Our faith will be strengthened in those moments of waiting and we will remain firm and confident before all that we face knowing that in Christ we have the final victory.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.