Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How Does Paul Make Christ Look Great?

This is a phenomenal portion of the preaching of the Word of God. You'll be benefited by watching/listening.

Though it seems like nothing could add to that, I want to demonstrate how that has wonderful implications for what I've been writing about. After listening through it a first time, listen again while reading my comments.

0:17-0:29 - "Everything else in his life is as nothing by comparison."

Everything else in your life, like:
  • The pleasure in our own laziness that would cause us to overlook the suffering of another (Lk 10:30-33), or even the suffering of another's animal (Deut 22:1-4; Ex 23:4-5).
  • The selfishness that causes us to speak or serve for our own glory and so that people are impressed with us (contrast Prov 18:2 with 1Pet 4:10-11).
  • The idolatry that causes us to turn down service opportunities so we can sit at home and watch TV.
  • The greed that causes us to refuse to lend money to a friend (Deut 15:7-8 ) or an enemy (Lk 6:30, 35).
  • The pride that makes us uncomfortable to associate with the lowly (Rom 12:16; Mk 2:17).
  • The gratification that we get by reviling in return or avenging ourselves (Rom 12:14) when wronged.
  • The gratification we get when we know people like us, the kind that cripples our proclamation of the Greatest News to a world who desperately needs it (Mt 5:13-16).
Everything else in our lives that causes us to not be a benefit to our world, to not love our neighbor as ourselves.

1:12 - "How do you make Christ look great in your life, and thus not waste it?"

I would add... "How do you make Christ look great in your life, and thus love people and not waste it?"

1:42 to 1:56 - "Friends, family are given to you so that you might live with them in such a way that it will be plain to the world: they are not your treasure, Christ is!"

You see? How do we really love people? Not by seeking to make much of them! Rather, we love them when we seek to make much of, to magnify, to make to look great and big, Christ! We show them the most satisfying and joy-inspiring Thing there is to see!

And remember, I cannot accurately present a supremely beautiful, consummately enjoyable, all-glorious, all-satisfying God to you without myself rejoicing in Him, marveling in His glory, and being satisfied in Him.

Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is precisely how we love our neighbor as ourselves. And so I think that the title of this post is interchangeable with the following: How Does Paul Love His Neighbor as Himself? Making Christ look great is loving your neighbor.

2:26 to 2:43 - "The way we display the supreme worth of Jesus is by treasuring Him above all things and then making choices which make the joy we have in His supreme worth manifest."

That, dear friends, is benefiting the world. It is expressly how the Church is to love those in her midst. Make those choices. Decide to be a servant of all (Mk 10:44-45) in everything that you do. Decide that the reason you're here on this planet is to make much of Jesus Christ and thereby present Him to the world. Pray with me that God Himself would fill you, me, and all the Church of God with His Spirit so as to make us a true benefit to all those we come in contact with, in the name of Jesus.


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