Sunday, August 01, 2004

The More Excellent Way

I went to the gospel today at my family’s fellowship hall. My brother, Tim, preached a really excellent gospel on John’s Gospel 13:33-38, and he also read from the end of 2Corinthians 12 and verses in 2Corinthians 13. He spoke about how we are all “on the way”, going someplace. He spoke of how Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. How we need to be taking the “more excellent way” by following Christ, the Lord. I was touched, especially, how in, as my dear brother in Christ, Frank Mutton, used to call it,, the “great love chapter” of 1Corinthians 13, Paul begins by speaking of several things which seem wonderful but are nothing when we don’t have love. He goes on to say, in verse 4, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Then the mighty statement in verse 8, “Love NEVER fails”.

On a practical note, Tim’s word really came home to me as it relates to my work life. I recently tried for two promotions at work and while I was completely accepting when I didn’t get the most recent promotion, I was really hurt and angry when I didn't get the promotion I initially tried for. It seemed to me the young man who was promoted had neither the qualifications or the passion for excellence I live with in my daily work. I was really frustrated and angry when I found he was to be given the job (as café supervisor). Reading through 1Corinthians 13, v. 4-8, I realize, to my utter shame, how I was completely unloving toward this guy. I’ve since been able to accept my manager’s decision to promote him, but it’s been a real struggle. Reading through these verses, however, has brought home how we are called to love one another, even our enemies. I know I need to ask for forgiveness for allowing my hurt and bitterness to affect me in this way. I want to show those I work with the love of God and am thankful for the opportunities He’s given me to do this. Love never fails but I certainly failed in showing love!

Tim also spoke of how this love brings us together as believers in the Body of Christ. It is much stronger than either passion or friendship or anything else we choose to link ourselves together. It transcends “feelings” and is stronger then death because it is of God! Think of what power there is in that simple statement, “Love never fails”! It makes me feel goose-bumpy just to think about it! What a wonder that Christ, our Redeemer, the Rose of Sharon and Ancient of Days, gave His life so we might all be able to share in this uniting, death-defying love! Hallelujah, what a Saviour!

I am so thankful I went out to the Gospel because I was fed so tenderly by the Spirit’s power. Please pray for me that I might continue to go out to meeting, whether on Lord’s Day or during the week, that my fears won’t overwhelm me.

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