Sunday, October 17, 2010
In the Grip of Grace
2 Corinthians 5:
13For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.
14For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
There are those who cannot escape the hold and the infatuation of the Cross. They are baffled by the fact that they have been chosen by Jesus; purchased by His precious blood; re-directed to His purposes; walking daily in His "whisperings"; looking for the revelation of Him in everyday occurrence. Church program plays small part in this; rather the love of Christ.
To the world they appear immensely impractical, naive, lop-sided, headed for disappointment, painfully fastidious. It is suspected that they strain to the breaking-point in moderation, forgiveness, self-immolation, salted speech and good report. They will lose friends and opportunity.
But in fact their little lights in vessels of clay, operating in mystic concert though the unifying influence of the Holy Spirit, will bring for God the victories of a Gideon (Judges 7). In time they will be seen as the real movers and healers of the City.
Concerning the above passage of scripture Oswald Chambers states an unforgettable thing:
"When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our testimony is based solely on what God has done for us, and rightly so. But that will change and be removed forever once you “receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8). Only then will you begin to realize what Jesus meant when He went on to say, “. . . you shall be witnesses to Me . . . .” Not witnesses to what Jesus can do— that is basic and understood— but “witnesses to Me . . . .” We will accept everything that happens as if it were happening to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward. No one is able to take this stand for Jesus Christ who is not totally compelled by the majesty of His power. It is the only thing that matters, and yet it is strange that it’s the last thing we as Christian workers realize. Paul said that he was gripped by the love of God and that is why he acted as he did. People could perceive him as mad or sane-he did not care. There was only one thing he lived for— to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of “the love of Christ.” This total surrender to “the love of Christ” is the only thing that will bear fruit in your life. And it will always leave the mark of God’s holiness and His power, never drawing attention to your personal holiness." (February 4, My Utmost for His Highest)