I absolutely love the title of this section – “The Most Excellent Way”. As Ben G wrote on the Blog on Wednesday placing our relationship with God at the top of our agenda is more important than the outreach we do, the TV we watch, relationships we have or the games console we spend our time on.
It’s daunting to read through the list in this chunk:
Yet Paul emphasises that love is above all of these things. It’s not a massive logical leap to suggest that everything we do should be from a place of Godly love. Washing up, outreach, conversations and our relationships should all start from this place:
1 John 4:19 – “We love because he first loved us.”
Not only do we read that we are encouraged to live out our lives as generous lovers in all that we do but we understand that this is the love that God has for us. This is the loves that Jesus went to the Cross with. He was patient, kind, didn’t envy, didn’t boast, wasn’t proud, wasn’t dishonourable, wasn’t self-seeking, wasn’t easily angered, didn’t keep record of wrongs, he protected, trusted, hoped and persevered.
Are you and I like that towards our Family? Our Friends? Other people within Church? Our enemies? Because that’s where God wants us to be.
According to my commentary Ancient mirrors (v.12) were made out of polished metal such as bronze and as such the reflection in them was poorer that in modern mirrors – Next time you have a spoon try it out and compare it to a mirror.
This is the state in which we live in as the Church, now and not yet. The Kingdom of God is here, we can pray for miracles, receive prophecy etc. But it is also in the future and will only be fully here when Jesus returns. In Romans Paul emphasises that even creation feels this tension (Romans 8:22-23), as individuals we are the only ones who know the state of our own heart, our deepest darkest secrets. Yet we as followers of Jesus are being transformed day by day, more and more into his likeness.
As a Church lets be honest with where we are. Be accountable to one another, focus on God daily and not just two or three hours a day for two to three days a week. I’m writing this on the first day of the Student Conference and am just so excited at all that God will do over the coming days. Not only this weekend but also in the coming months and years. But we have to become people who are better at loving, the only way we will see this happen is if we commit individually and collectively to spending time with God.
God is love.