At times like this we need …
by Chris Forder
It seems that so many people at TGS are getting sick, gravely sick and some have even died. It has been wonderful to see the sacrificial love and genuine support shown by so many for those in these situations. But it seems, things are not slowing down. How then will we live out 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10
9 Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more,
Love even more! At times like this we need God. I know it is obvious but we need to be reminded of it. In times like this we can grow weary, hopeless, grumble even. But the command to love even more, is not only a command, it is a creation of God. God commands it and God gives it. That is the foundation of asking for it.
Here is the stunning truth of holiness, Philippians 2:12-13
12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.
Yes we are commanded to love and care for others. Yes we are to work at obeying God. But God does not leave us alone in this. Verse 13: For it is God who is at work in you. God promises to do for us what he commands from us. This is what marks the Christian life. Not good works, but good works fuelled by and purchased by the blood of Jesus and promised to those who are his.
We will not be able to love and care for each other long term unless we have what we need, God. As God’s people this is not about self-improvement and being better people. Loving one another sacrificially is blood brought and Spirit wrought divine enabling received by faith in Christ. It is gospel shaped lives. It is lives God saves and transforms. So friends, as we continue to love and care for one another in all we do, may we also draw closer to God, being strengthened and strengthening each other in Christ.
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