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Easter 2020 - Day 7

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 7. Jesus’ I AM the Bread of Life

G’day! Welcome to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

35 Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ John 6:35, 48-51

Three times in this passage, Jesus refers to Himself as the living bread. By this He meant that He was the only one who could satiate the appetite and yearning of every person’s spirit. For those He was speaking to, bread was a basic staple food for living, just as it is for millions of people today. Jesus indicates when saying He is the bread of life, that He will supply all needs!

Just as He said to the woman at the well in John 4:4, that whoever drinks His living water, shall never again go spiritually thirsty. When Jesus referred to the manna in the desert (John 6:49) he talked of it being merely temporary despite being a gift from God. He however as the true bread of life would give permanent satisfaction and life everlasting to all those who believe and follow Him (John 6:51)! But this bread He offers, has to be eaten; has to be taken up by the person wanting spiritual life! Note the inference to His impending sacrifice on the cross at the end of John 6:51!

Jesus, “I AM the living bread!”

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Easter 2020 - Day 6

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 6. Jesus the “I AM”

G’day! Welcome to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

Exodus 3:13-14: Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'

Isaiah 41:4: “Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD -with the first of them and with the last—I am he”

John 8:58: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “Before Abraham was, I AM”.

On seven other occasions in the Gospel of John, John records statements where Jesus said “I AM”. These are unique to John and are not recorded in the other three Gospels. In John 8:58, Jesus is reinforcing His claims to be God. When Jesus says “I AM”, he is referring back to the time when God revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14 and through the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 41:4. That’s why in John 8:59, they picked up stones in order to kill Him for blasphemy. This was in accordance, so they thought, with Deuteronomy 13, which dictates that anyone who tries to turn people away from the living God is to be stoned to death. They knew Jesus was claiming to the very God they thought they worshipped.

In these seven “I AM” statements, as well as equating Himself as God with the “I AM”, Jesus is also promoting his exclusivity as the only Saviour. As His disciples currently in the Western world, we get shouted at and criticized for holding such exclusive views. But if Jesus was not God and He was only one path to God, would Jesus have needed to go through the agony of the cross, as payment for the sins of the world? Of course he wouldn’t have needed to. That He did, shows that He is the only path and only means of access to God. It is only through the resurrected Jesus that salvation can be assured and then only by a childlike faith and not by any other means. That is why we should not capitulate to current trends to unite all religions, which says that all paths lead to God. Jesus Christ Himself, as we have seen, and will see, has said that He and He alone is the way to God and that salvation is only through His work on the cross for all those who trust and believe in Him.

Jesus, the great “I AM!” Over the next 7 days we look at Jesus being the I AM of God as part of Easter 2020 series "God Is Love"!

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Easter 2020 - Day 5

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 5. Jesus’ Identity

27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, ‘Who do people say I am?’
28 They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’
29 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah.’
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Jesus predicts his death
31 He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke plainly about this, and Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But when Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, he rebuked Peter. ‘Get behind me, Satan!’ he said. ‘You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’ Mark 8:27-33

This part of the Bible contains the verse which divulges Jesus’ true identity, when Peter calls Him the Christ or Messiah or Saviour (Mark 8v29). In the preceding few verses Jesus and the disciples were in Bethsaida and there is the incident where Jesus healed the blind man.

Download the mp3 to find out more about this story regarding Jesus and the answers to the following questions:

See who Jesus truly is – (Mark 8:22) revealing that the faith of others apart from the blind man was also involved.

There are obvious questions which come out of this.

  • Why did Jesus touch the blind man twice to heal him?
  • Why does Jesus tell the man not to tell anybody?
  • Who do people say that Jesus was?
  • Who did Peter say that Jesus was? Why did Jesus tell the disciples to keep quiet about Him?
  • What was the purpose of the Messiah? (Mark 10:45)

Jesus’ mission was to be the Servant of the Lord, and therefore, the saviour of the world as God’s Son (John 3:16). His purpose as the Messiah was neither that He be served nor that He will lead a political overthrow of the Roman government as some had hoped. Rather, His purpose as the Messiah was to be God’s servant and give a message of hope for the spiritually poor and spiritually oppressed people.


Our confession of Jesus is a matter of life and death (John 8:21;1 John 4:1-3). Confession of Jesus as Lord is necessary for salvation (1 Corinthians 12:1-3), when that confession is from the heart (Romans 10:9-10). Christians are called to follow Jesus, to take up their cross and this could mean nothing less than being ready to suffer and die for Jesus. If we are ashamed of him on earth, he will be ashamed of us when the end of the world has come. He will reward those deserving the reward, and deny those who deny him.

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Easter 2020 - Day 4

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 4. Jesus’ Mission

G’day! Welcome to Partakers and to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

42 At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ 44 And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. Luke 4:42-44

Jesus’ public ministry on earth has begun! A reluctant John the Baptist has baptized him and the crowds heard God the Father speaking to Him. Jesus then underwent temptations by the arch-seducer, satan, and emerged victorious from that ordeal.

Download the mp3 to find out more about what happened to Jesus:

  • in his home town where he worshipped and where he was rejected.
  • when he travelled away from home, where he preached, rebuked, healed and prayed.

Jesus’ mission was to be the saviour of the world as God’s Son (John 3v16) and the Servant of the Lord. His mission was to give a message of hope for the spiritually poor and spiritually oppressed people - people not only in his hometown, nor only in Israel, but rather for the whole world.

People have two choices when faced with this fact: accept or reject. There is no other option. That is why as Christian Disciples we are to be actively engaged in evangelism, to tell people of this news about Jesus Christ.

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Easter 2020 - Day 3

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 3. Jesus' Baptism

G’day! Welcome to Partakers and to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

21 When all the people were being baptised, Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’
23 Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry. He was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph. Luke 3v21-23

Jesus’ baptism, shows the commencement of Jesus’ public ministry. Jesus is now about 30 years old. John the Baptist precedes all Gospel accounts of the start of Jesus’ ministry, and this is because repentance before God is the key to starting a new life in God’s Kingdom.

Witness 1 – John the Baptist

When John came (Luke 3v1-2) – When John the Baptist appeared on the scene, no prophetic voice had been heard within Israel for almost 400 years. His coming was part of God’s perfect timing, for everything that relates to God’s Son is always on time (Gal.4v4; Jn.2v4, 13v1)
How John came (Luke 3v3) – Dressed and acting like the Old Testament prophet Elijah, John came to the area near the River Jordan, preaching and baptizing. He announced the arrival of the kingdom of heaven (Mt.3v3) and urged the people to repent. John’s baptism looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, while Christian baptism looks back to the finished work of Christ in His death and resurrection.
Why John came (Luke 3v4-20) – John the Baptist was a voice “crying in the wilderness” (Is.40v1-5; Luke 3v4; Jn.1v23). Spiritually speaking, the nation of Israel was living in a state of unbelief and twisted spiritual reality. The people desperately needed to hear a voice from God, and John was that faithful voice. It was John’s work to prepare the nation for the Messiah and then present the Messiah to them. John is compared to an axeman cutting down trees that down bear fruit (Luke 3v9) or a farmer who burns useless chaff (Luke 3v17). Many Jews of the time thought they were destined for heaven simply because they were descended from Abraham. In Luke 3v7, John depicts the crowds as snakes.

John the Baptist also was a teacher. He taught people to live their new faith (Luke 3v10-14). He told them not to be selfish, but to share their blessings with other people. Tax collectors were told by John to do their work honestly. Soldiers were to stop using their jobs for personal gain. John clearly stated that Jesus was “the Lord” (Luke 3v4) and the Son of God (Jn.1v34)

Witness 2 & 3 – The Father and the Spirit

Jesus comes to John the Baptist, and presents himself for baptism. John at first refuses to do it (Mt.3v13-15). He knew that Jesus of Nazareth was the perfect Son of God who had no need to repent of sin.
Through his baptism, he identified with all sinners that he came to save. We have seen already that it is the start of his public ministry (Acts 1v21-22, 10v37-38). But why did Jesus get baptized? In replying to John’s initial refusal to baptize him, Jesus said “…it is proper for us to do this to fulfil all righteousness” (Mt.3v15). This looks forward to the cross, because it is only through the baptism of suffering that Jesus endured on the cross, that God is able to fulfil all righteousness. The “us” referred to means Father, Son and Spirit. When Jesus came up from the water, the Father spoke from heaven and identified Him as the beloved Son of God, and the Spirit visibly came upon Jesus in the form of a dove.

Jesus as the Son of Man 3v23b-38

The genealogy here reminds us that the Son of God was also the Son of Man, born into the world, identifying with the needs and problems of mankind. Through the genealogy, we see down through the generations Jesus’ link to Adam and ultimately God. The phrase “the son of” generally means any remotely connected descendant or ancestor. It is a reminder that Jesus, being Joseph’s legal son was part of a human family, tribe, race and nation. Jesus’ line goes back through the Old Testament from Joseph to King David to Judah, Jacob, Isaac and Abraham, to Methuselah to Noah and Adam. The genealogy, with its link to David, shows Jesus’ right to ascend to David’s throne (Luke 1v32-33). The genealogy shows Jesus’ total human-ness, and because he is linked to Adam, identifies with all humanity and not just Israel. But there is one difference between Jesus and all other humans. In that Luke doesn’t stop the genealogy at Adam, as he would have for all other humans, Luke ultimately leads and links Jesus to being God’s Son.

Jesus as the Son of God (Luke 3v38)

Adam had come into the world bearing the true image of a son of God, but, when Adam disobeyed God, that image was marred and scarred due to sin entering the world. All that is, except Jesus. The voice from God the Father ratified Jesus as the Son of God. Not a son of God as some may claim, but the one and only Son of God. This genealogy points to the unbroken relationship between Jesus and God. Jesus is as Adam was before Adam’s disobedience.

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Easter 2020 - Day 2

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 2. Jesus' Birth

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’
22 All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’).
24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matthew 1:18-25

That Jesus was a human male is not really disputed. The birth of Jesus is extraordinary at every level. The primary documents about him, found in the Bible, states that he was born of a woman, which in itself tells us that at least in a prenatal state he was nurtured and formed as any other male baby was and is. On the physical level, Jesus was born as any person is, but as regards his conception, He was conceived like no other person – conceived by the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:35). This was so that Jesus would not be given the sinful nature past that all humans have. Jesus was fully human and fully divine. Other documents, outside of the Bible from that time period also attest to Jesus and his existence.

Throughout the Old Testament, there is a witness to the birth of the Messiah, the Saviour. From the time of the first sin done by Adam, through the creation of Israel, the life of the Patriarchs and Kings and the oracles of the Prophets – all looking forward to the Messiah coming. The 5 Covenants that God made with people all look forward to this Messiah, this King. This King was to be their hope, their Saviour. His genealogy takes his physical line back to Abraham via David. Abraham was the father of Israel and David the first King. He grew into maturity as any young Jewish boy did.

What’s in a name?

When Jesus was born, his name imbued the very reason he was born. His conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So important is our understanding of the birth of Jesus that no fewer than 4 angels come to give us a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, or God, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed he is”! They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which he was born. Did Jesus ever think of how misnamed he was? Certainly not! His name means one who saves, or a rescuer. The entirety of his birth, life and death were centred on this very role. His role was to save all those who would follow Him.

He is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about him. He was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. He gave us an example of how to live a holy life to the full. He was not merely a man who received some special power. He was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was, as we shall see in this series, much more than those ideas! One of the Church Fathers, Anselm, wrote that God’s salvation plan for humans involved triumphant victory over sin, death and the grave. However no person could be found that was eligible or capable to do this.

Because of this, God stepped into human history, so that this victory could be achieved. This God-man would be fully human, so as to live every feature of humanity, including suffering and death. This God-man would also need to remain fully God, so as to defeat sin, death and the grave. Jesus, being sinless, was this God-man, consisting as he did of two complete natures, the God nature and the human nature. That is why Jesus being both fully God and fully human is all important – without either, He could not be the long awaited Messiah and Saviour. That Jesus is both human and divine is what makes Christianity unique amongst the world’s religions. It is why Jesus’ claims to be the only way to God are true and make sense, and it is why millions of people today worship Him and acknowledge Him as their Lord and their God. From what we know of his childhood and early life, we know that he grew in stature and wisdom (Luke 2:52)

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Easter 2020 - Day 1

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Easter 2020 - God is Love

Day 1. Jesus of the Gospels

G’day! Welcome to Partakers and to our Easter 2020 series, God is Love, where for the next 30 days we look at Jesus Christ, the events of Easter and its consequences.

In the New Testament, we have four accounts of the life of Jesus Christ that are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These are called Gospels. But what is a Gospel, how are the four accounts different or similar and what were the main points each writer sought to communicate?

Four Different Portraits

  • The Gospel of Matthew with Key Verses: Matthew 16:17 & Matthew 28:18-20
  • The Gospel of Mark with Key Verses: Mark 8:34 & Mark 10:45
  • The Gospel of Luke with Key Verses: Luke 1:3-4 & Luke 19:10
  • The Gospel of John with Key Verses: John 1:9-12 & John 20:31

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Wednesday Wisdom

Proverbs 11

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G’day! Welcome to Partakers and to Wednesday Wisdom, where we are listening to what the Bible has to say through the Wisdom literature of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon. Come on in!

Today it is Proverbs 11. Download this episode using this link

1 A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight.
2 When pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.
4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

6 The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in through their own naughtiness.
7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perishes.
8 The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead.
9 a hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 He that is void of wisdom despises his neighbour: but a man of understanding holds his peace.
13 A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.
14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.
15 He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hates being surety is secure.
16 A gracious woman retains honour: and strong men retain riches.

17 The merciful man does good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubles his own flesh.
18 The wicked works a deceitful work: but to him that sows righteousness shall be a sure reward.
19 As righteousness tends to life: so he that pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20 They that are of a perverse heart are abomination to the Lord: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.
21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

22 As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.
23 The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24 There is that scatters, and yet increases; and there is that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty.
25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that waters shall be watered also himself.
26 He that withholds corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that sells it.

27 He that diligently seeks good procures favour: but he that seeks mischief, it shall come to him.
28 He that trusts in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.
29 He that troubles his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.
31 Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

That’s it for today! Come back every day to Partakers Podcasts to hear something to encourage and uplift you as a Christian disciple, regardless of where you are in the world. You can also purchase our books via Amazon at Pulptheology.com

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Psalm 86 to Psalm 90

Often we hear the Psalms one by one, but today we offer you the chance to hear a group of Psalms read as a collection!

 

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Psalm 86

A prayer of David.

1 Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am faithful to you;
save your servant who trusts in you.
You are my God;
3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

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Psalm 87

Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm. A song.

1 He has founded his city on the holy mountain.
2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion more than all the other dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things are said of you, city of God:
4 ‘I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me –
Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush – and will say, “This one was born in Zion.”’

5 Indeed, of Zion it will be said,
‘This one and that one were born in her,
and the Most High himself will establish her.’
6 The Lord will write in the register of the peoples:
‘This one was born in Zion.’
7 As they make music they will sing, ‘All my fountains are in you.’

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Psalm 88

A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth. A maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 Lord, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more, who are cut off from your care.

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Psalm 89

A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

1 I will sing of the Lord’s great love for ever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known
through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm for ever,
that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

3 You said, ‘I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 “I will establish your line for ever and make your throne firm through all generations.”’

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Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

1 Lord, you have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying, ‘Return to dust, you mortals.’

4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death –
they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.

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Think Spot – 16 March 2020

Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour. Ephesians 5:1-2.


Paul admonishes us to be followers of the Father, as beloved children. He employs the most endearing terms — "dear children" —'- to persuade us with the Father's love to love even as we are loved. What manner of love has God manifested toward us? Not simply that love in which he gives temporal support to us unworthy beings in common with all the wicked on earth; that he permits his sun to rise on the just and the unjust and sends rain on the grateful and the ungrateful. Not only thus did God love us; but he has given his Son for us. In addition to showering upon us both temporal and eternal blessings he has given his own self with all he is, with all he has, with all he does. He who despises such glow of love, which fills all heaven and earth and is beyond all power to comprehend; he who does not permit this love to kindle and incite in him love for his neighbour, whether enemy or friend, is not likely ever to become godly or loving by such measures as laws or commandments, instruction, constraint, or compulsion.

"Walk in love," the apostle counsels. He would have our external life all love. But not the world's love is to be our pattern, which seeks only its own advantage, and loves only so long as it is the gainer thereby; we must love even as Christ loved, who sought neither pleasure, nor gain from us, but gave himself for us — gave himself as a sacrifice and offering to reconcile God unto ourselves, so that he should be our God and we his children. Thus are we to give, or even surrender our goods, whether friends claim them or enemies. We are to be ready to give our lives for both friends and enemies and must be occupied with the thought how we may serve others, and how life and property can be made to minister to them in this life, and this because we know that Christ is ours and has given us all things. All sacrifices are powerless but that of Christ himself; he is the sweet-smelling aroma. This sacrifice is pleasing to God. He gladly accepts it and would have us believe that it is an acceptable offering in our stead.

(An excerpt taken from "Devotional Readings From Luther's Works For Every Day Of The Year" By Rev. John Sander, L.H.D.) in the Public Domain.

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