Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate.  Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach.  For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.

 
 
 

Going to Jesus

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Thought for the Evening
4-07

1CORINTHIANS 13, PART SEVEN:

"Charity does not seek her own"
1Corinthians 13:5b

The love of God, when in action, does not seek its own salvation but the salvation of others. Jesus did not walk around on earth worrying about whether or not he would "make it into glory". He didn't live for himself; he lived for others. He told the disciples that their joy would be full when they at last were with him in the presence of the Father. It was this joyous hope of their salvation, not his own, that motivated him to "endure the cross, despising the shame" (Heb. 12:2). He could have bailed out at any time if all he was concerned about was his own welfare.

After pleading with the Father in the Garden of Gethsemene not to require him to go through the brutal crucifixion process, Jesus said that if he decided to call them, many legions of angels would immediately come to his rescue. In other words, the Father actually granted the Son's request not to be forced to go to the cross. But the Father also let Jesus know that if he did not suffer the agonies of crucifixion, Peter's soul would be forever hopelessly lost, and James' soul, and John's, and Moses', and Abraham's, and David's, and all of ours, and everyone else's. Everything depended on Jesus, and, thankfully, Jesus did not "seek his own" welfare but ours. Jesus was willing to be made a curse (Gal. 3:13) "so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2Cor. 5:21).

How could Paul say that he would gladly give up his own soul for the Jews if they would just acknowledge their Messiah? It is only by the power of the love that comes from God's own heart that any human being can feel such compassion for others, especially for others who hate him as most Jews hated Paul. Paul exhorted the saints to be filled with the Spirit so that they might express in deeds this self-sacrificial love for one another, saying "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus" (Phip. 2:4-5). This is the love of God in action that Paul called "the bond of perfection". There is no place for the spirits of envy and strife to work where this bond of charity exists among the children of God.

It grieved Paul that he could find no one to help him care for the saints as did the young man Timothy, who loved God's people with the same sacrificial love that Paul had received from God for them. Paul wrote, "I have no man like-minded [as Timothy], who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things that are Christ's" (Phip. 2:20-21).

Do not be afraid to love as God loves. Dare to believe that it is a good thing to do. What can you lose, but something of the earth that you will leave behind anyway when you die? What you will gain will be "an inheritance that is incorruptible, and undefiled, and that does not fade away" (1Pet. 1:4).

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