Each day of our 2017 fast will include a short reflection on each of the 7 Movements of Discipleship. The 7 Movements are the way we explain the transformations that come as we follow Jesus.
Here we are, coming to the end of day 3 of our 2017 week of prayer and fasting. Today, we’re talking about the movement from selfishness to love that we take as we follow Jesus.
In the ancient letter that we call ‘2 Corinthians’, Paul writes this:
“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again" (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
In this section, Paul is writing about what motivates he and his coworkers (and, ideally, all followers of Jesus). It is Jesus’ love that compels Paul. Notice: what motivates Paul are not selfish things like fear of punishment or desire for reward. It is Christ’s love that compels him.
He shares his logic with us:
- when Jesus died on the cross, he died for all,
- therefore all died with him.
- Some people will respond to Jesus’ offer, and raise to life—just like Jesus did.
- Those people do raise again, being compelled by Jesus’ selfless love for them that has purchased them a whole new life, should no longer live for themselves (selfishness) but should live for Jesus—the supreme example of love who is responsible for giving them a new life.
Paul seems to be thinking, "how can we still live a selfish life when so great an act of self-sacrificial love has been done for us?" Without this gift, we wouldn’t even be truly alive. How, after being raised from the dead by Jesus would we not give our lives to Him? Even more when we consider that Jesus has not only done this for us but for everyone.
Now, if we should no longer live for ourselves but for Jesus, what does it mean to live for Jesus?
First, who is Jesus?
Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15). And this ‘invisible God’ is defined as love itself (1 John 4:8).
to live for Jesus, or to live a life that is centered on Jesus, must mean that we live a life of love.
Paul’s other letter to the Corinthian church makes it clear that love “is not self-seeking” (1 Cor. 13:5).
Therefore, to follow Jesus means that, over time, we will move from a life defined by seeking after ourselves (selfishness) to one defined by love for God and love for others.
It's near impossible to force ourselves to stop being selfish and try to be loving. To move from selfishness to love we can't just try harder. We must come to experience God’s love for us in Jesus to such a growing degree that it compels us to forget about our own interests and instead feel the incredible opportunity to live our lives centered on Jesus. And a life that is centered on Jesus is a life permeated with love for God and those around us.
For Christ's love compels us... to live for him who died for us and was raised again.
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Join us for one of the corporate prayer times during the week:
Wednesday, January 11th at 680 rue Richmond 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Thursday, January 12th at 4250 avenue Marcil (Apt. 21 Buzzer: 28) 7:30pm - 9:00pm
We will break the fast and celebrate together on Saturday, January 14th at 680 rue Richmond 10am - 12:30pm. We will have a time of prayer followed by brunch together. Please bring a dish to share.