“Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!”
II Corinthians 13:5
Soaking in the Son, Autumn Harvest, Winter Watch and Spring’s Revival have offered you scheduled Bible reading, Biblical articles for strengthening your walk In Jesus, a direct focus for intercession and suggested reading for the renewing of your mind. If you began participating in the Titus Women’s weekly e-News with the 2014 Summer Challenge, you have finished a full year “growing” cycle. Well done beloved in Christ!
As an ambassador for Christ, Paul has a tremendous burden for all of Christ’s church to live in the victory that Jesus provides. It is clear in I & II Corinthians Paul is giving his admonishment to those called into fellowship with Jesus Christ – the Church! It is also clear the newly birthed church had yet to understand saved by grace means living in the New Testament Covenant, with the inner presence of the Holy Spirit giving power for all purity of heart, mind, soul and strength and New Testament grace is to have a love for others rather than for themselves. “And working together with Him we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (II Corinthians 6:1).
Paul teaches New Testament grace is to live in and from Jesus’ holy agape love. He clearly states he presents the severe correction to the Corinthian church from such love. “For the love of Christ controls, (compels, empowers) us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (II Corinthians 5:14, 15).Christ’s love gives Paul the passion for bearing reproach, conflicts without and fears within. He risks his own reputation because of Christ’s love, admonishing the Corinthians to have no immorality in the body of Christ, to remove the wicked from among them. Unify the fellowship of believers. Get rid of all divisive differences among them. With Christ’s love, he declares the necessity to remember the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Bought with a price – the blood of Jesus, their bodies are the holy temples of our Lord Jesus. It is Christ’s love that surpasses any God-given gift, any amount of faith and hope and empowers one to lay down His own will and life for the honor and glory of God the Father and Jesus the Son. One must be foolish and fanatical to love like this. Paul agrees and He writes only by having and abiding IN the Holy Spirit of Agape Love is one capable of freely living such love. Paul didn’t make up His own theology. “…for love is from God” (I John 4:7); “God Is Love…” (I John 4: 16); “Through love serve…” (Galatians 5:13) and “…Pursue love!” I Corinthians 8:1.
Jesus, Love Himself, shares the key: “ABIDE in ME and I IN YOU… for apart from me you can do nothing…ABIDE IN MY LOVE; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:4, 5, 10). Paul tested himself frequently! He knew this key for steadfast living. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers…nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 37-39. )
What extraordinary good news! You and I need not live for the next revival. We may continually, every second of every day, live overflowing with the beauty of renewed life- the holy present love of Jesus.