Tuesday, February 3

The Perfect Life

Psalm: Psalm 147:1-11
Old Testament: Isaiah 40:21-31
Gospel: Mark 1:29-39
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 27

Gospel theme: up & doing.
  • The touch of Jesus, and a sick woman is up & doing. Not sitting around attracting attention for having been touched and healed by the Master, as great as this was, but demonstrating His having touched her by doing for others..
  • The touch of the Father, as Jesus met with Him in prayer, and Jesus was up & doing, eager to reach the cities and remote villages, preaching, healing, and delivering all who came to Him.

OT theme:
  • God, of infinite power & majesty- the Ultimate, the Creator, Redeemer, & Judge,
  • Is our Sustainer, giving strength to the weak, understanding to the simple, life to the dying,
  • That we may soar in His strength, pressing on in power, and in patience!
  • And what is it that God is calling us to do in that strength, that power, and that endurance?

Epistle theme:
Paul says,
  • I preach because I must preach! (This echoes Jesus in His own first public sermon, Isa. 61:1, opened in Lk. 4:18. Is this not the same testimony as the Church even today?)
  • If I preach willingly, then God rewards me. If not, then I still must preach!
  • My greatest reward, he is saying, is to give myself freely for the sake of those I am seeking to reach, for that is what Jesus did, and does, for us, and in following Him, He is transforming me from the inside (and the outside will surely show it!), to be like Him, and becoming like Him I want to give myself away for the work of the Gospel, for the souls of lost, for the building up of the Body of Christ.
  • So, what is it that God is wanting to do in our lives? What is He calling us to do, as we would grow up into Him? Salvation is not an armchair event. We don't sit around and watch God grow us up. A body-builder doesn't make his gains watching the late shows. It is God, the Bible says, Who is working in us to desire, and to carry out, those things which please Him, so Paul said: our lives flowing into His, His Spirit transforming ours. In a letter to the one strongest and holiest church in his care, Paul writes,
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

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