Friday, February 16, 2007

1 John 4:10

1 John 4:10 - This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (NLT)

The contrast is incredible. A Christian will love God, but when you compare it to the love that he showed for us by sending his son to die a horrible death, it pales somewhat. I love that this verse focuses on the love being demonstrated in the sending. It's not just that Christ happened to die while he was here, it's about the fact that God sent him with the express purpose of dying.

I can't imagine sending either of my sons away at all, let alone to die. I would want to call them back, to find another way, even abandoning everything else to avoid them going through that pain. I've seen my oldest son have two operations - on the second one I had the 'privilege' of holding his hand while he was anaesthetised. But that was pain-free, and beneficial for him. I don't think I could put him through a painful situation for someone else. Particularly not a sinner who may not even accept the gift made possible through it. Particularly not such a painful situation as death by crucifixion. I think it's this that drills home that real love is demonstrated by what God does for us, and that this is the love that affects our salvation.

Friday, February 09, 2007

2 Thessalonians 1:3

2 Thessalonians 1:3 - We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more...

Sometimes it's really hard to thank God for other people. Frankly, they're humans. They wind us up, they cause us grief, they frustrate us no end. In the verse here, Paul's referring to Christians clearly. But I think the challenge is to thank God for all people. After all, they're all his creations. Completely fashioned by God. Not a chance occurrence based on the DNA of the parents, but a perfect new creation of God. It's easier to think of babies like this than grown-ups, especially when those grown-ups are annoying us.

Please try to take the time to pray for those people that wind you up. Thank God for them. It'll also help your faith grow more and more...