For the love of Christ

A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels Leading to Easter  2/21/2013
(Click on link below for readings.)
 
John 1:15-51; 2; 3:1-22
"For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ."
John 1:17
 
    Too much to share from today’s reading, so I’m not even going to try.






 
    Okay, just kidding. But in just three chapters we go from John the Baptist’s testifying of Christ, the water to wine, money changers, and Nicodemus’ call to be born again. This is getting way ahead on The Story but we’ll catch back up next week. Today I want us to focus on love, especially the love of Christ.
 
     First, look at the tender love we see when the disciples, John and Andrew, follow Christ. “What do you seek?” When we follow our Lord, He’ll invite us tenderly to “Come and see.” The love of Christ bids us come and follow Him.
 
     Second, the love of Christ is seen in meeting the needs of the marriage. This miracle is not insignificant in that it shows us that Jesus loves us in caring for our inadequacies and short-fallings. Jesus did the miracle, but Mary did the asking and the servants did the filling. Someone said, “If you’re praying for rain, why aren’t you carrying an umbrella?” And notice what results from the love of Christ, followed by faithful obedience: God is glorified and the disciples are edified in their faith (John 2:11). We are saved by faith alone but saving faith is never alone.

     Thirdly, the love of Christ is seen in passionate zeal for the Father and His house. The religious people of Jesus' day thought they could make some money on God, but Jesus turned the tables on them (don’t groan, please). Are we zealous for God's House for Him or for what we get out of it? To be honest some just want to get out of God's House period. Never complain, "Oh, I didn't get anything out of service today." That reflects a sad and selfish heart, much like the money changers. We go to God's House for service, not "serve us." It's not what we get but what we give and I'm not just talking about money.

     Brevity, Tim, brevity. Devotional, not a sermon ... 500 words...Whew. Okay.

     But notice the common denominator in chapter 2 in the water to wine and the turning over of the tables: it increased the faith within the disciples (2:11 and 22).

     Finally, the love of Christ is seen in the kingdom of God being seen by being born again. “For God so loved…” Love gives forgiveness and a future. Religion has man seeking to ascend to heaven, but Christianity has Christ seeking humanity by descending to our level (3:13). He doesn’t condemn, we are already condemned by our hateful disobedience. Yes, every time we sin, we are showing our hatred of the light (3:20).

     For the love of Christ, we follow, we have faith, we have forgiveness and we have a future.

Pray: God, give me heart that says “Where You go, I’ll go,” when You say “fill pots,” I fill pots. Give me a heart that is zealous for You and Your house. And let me be born again in You today. Amen.

For more on these rich chapters, go to johnoneday.blogspot.com.

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