Jesus for Life
KIND OF LIFE IS
wrote the following lines in his letter to the saints (Christians)
If you have any encouragement from being united with
Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship
with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then
make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the
same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing
out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility
consider others better than yourselves. Each of you
should look not only to your own interests, but also to
the interests of others.
Your attitude should be the same as that of
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death-
even death on a cross !
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed
- not only in my presence, but now much more in my
absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear
and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and
to act according to his good purpose.
Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that
you may become blameless and pure, children of God
without fault in a crooked and depraved generation,
in which you shine like stars in the universe
as you hold out the word of life
2 Verses 1 to 16a (NIV)
... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the
sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited,
provoking and envying each other.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall
trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or
nakedness or danger or sword? ...
in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.
For I am convinced that
neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate us from the love of God
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:35, 37-39
We do well to read and recall Matthew 18:21-35
where Jesus tells us a
the master ordered that he and his wife and his children
and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"The servant fell on his knees before him.
'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.'
The servant's master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.
"But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who
owed him a hundred denarii**. He grabbed him and began to choke him.
'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
'Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.'
"Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said,
'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.
Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'
In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured,
until he should pay back all he owed.
"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you
unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
It is not 'good' people who will get into heaven, but bad people -
people who have
asked for and received God's forgiveness.
Then Jesus told this story to some who had
great self-confidence and scorned everyone else:
went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a
dishonest tax collector. The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed
this prayer: 'I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else,
especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't
sin, I don't commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth
of my income.'
'O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.'
I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God.
proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honoured."
taught us to pray:
may your name be honoured.
May your Kingdom come soon.
Give us our food day by day.
And forgive us our sins--
just as we forgive those who have sinned against us.
And don't let us yield to temptation."
Luke 11:2-4 (NLT)
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly
loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness,
humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other
and forgive whatever grievances you may have against
one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over
all these virtues put on love, which binds them
all together in perfect unity.
So you also, when you have done everything you were
told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants;
we have only done our duty.'"
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to
sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who
has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet
was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of
grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy
and find grace to help us in our time of need.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed,
but of imperishable, through the living and enduring
word of God. For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever."
And this is the word that was preached to you.
Peter 1:23-25 (NIV)
"It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Although I am less than the least of all God's people,
this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles
the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth
has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name
of the Father
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey
everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age."
Yet I am always with you;
you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will take me into glory.