Friday, April 09, 2010

Phil. 2:21

For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Paul talks about Timothy as someone who genuinely cares about the church. "There's no one quite like Timothy", Paul says. He is an example of all the things about which Paul has just been speaking. He shares the same attitude as Jesus, he cares about the interests of others (2:4) and just about himself.

Of course it's not just about putting others before self. Paul now introduces a higher calling, the interests of Jesus Christ. What matter most to Jesus? It's a question that deserves an answer.

For a long time it seems that we've thought that what matters most to Jesus is the purity if the church, the quality of the worship, the narrowness of doctrine. There is a church in America that has come to the public platform because of its extreme views. They reach a vitriolic message of hatred towards the world. It is far from pleasant and certainly not honouring of God.

They may be extreme, but even in our mild-mannered moments we are prone think that God is more concerned with judgement than he is with grace, with sound doctrine than he is with abundant life.

It seems to me that what matters most to Jesus is grace. He does not long to judge but to embrace. The thought of judgement makes him weep, the offer of grace exacted a higher price that he was willing to pay.

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