Not wanting to start an argument about ascetism (I had to look it up) . If I understood the word correctly, denying oneself in the fear of God to minister to others needs I believe is an essential part of ministry.
_________________Robert Wurtz II
Hi Mt, I'm delighted that you read those two passages. Jesus gave two commandments. I believe those two passages clearly define the true manifestation of obedience to His commandments: Love God with all that you are and love your neighbor as yourself, without hope or expectation of ever being paid back. That to me is agape love, God kind of love. How could we ever have the audacity of thinking we could ever pay Him back. Even if we went through the same exact torment and suffereing that Jesus did, it would not be enough, because our safrafice is not perfect, far from it. The good news is that in God's love, He does not expect us to pay it back, He did that for us. He does expect us to treat others as He Himself has treated us...with unconditional love, proven on Calvary, raised from the dead, and reigns in glory now and forever more. It is my heart that you would get that out of those passages. One day, I was on my way home. It was a hot and humid day. I was waiting for a traffic light to change when I noticed this fellow on crutches trying to walk in the opposite direction in tall grass. There were no sidewalks (not unusual for south Louisiana), and he was struggling real bad to get through the grass in the hot humid sunshine. I was cool and comfortable in my air conditioned car. All of a sudden, I was just overwhelmed by the least of these my brethren and I knew what I had to do. I had to turn around at the light and off "Jesus" a ride, which I gladly did. I took him all the way to his residence, about 3 miles down the road. He was very humble and appreciative. See he only had one leg and some crutches. Jesus is like that sometimes. I told the fellow that is was because of the love that Jesus had for him that the Lord told me to turn around and go out of my way to give him a ride home and relieve him from his struggles in the tall grass. He thanked me. I hope I will see him someday in heaven. Together we can worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords and give thanks for opportunities to minister to others, the love of Jesus, as doing it unto Jesus Himself.
Thanks br Robert,Ascetism. Opened it up very well. Thanks.About your post on the difference between 'anointing and anger', just thought to add this two cents worth...Anointed preaching leads to repentance, angry preaching leads to... hmmm...Anyway, just remembered Prophet Nathan and his confrontation of David.A full year after the sin was committed, an interesting story and WHAM! "You are the man!"And from that we have Psalm 51........and from that we have King David recieving mercy.I don't have a platform to preach on (apart from to my colleagues and neighbors), but I pray for you brother, that wherever you preach, your words would be breathed on by the Holy Spirit and lead men to repentance!Br Lahry, about your post on loving God, I'm wondereing whether the second commandment is doable without the first.Loving our neighbor is a requirement but it's impossible to sustain without abiding in Christ's love.I had to pop out for a couple of hours for BS and on the way back, I got to thinking about all the things I could do spur my brethren and to reach the lost and I thought..."Hey! Wait a minute! I need to spend time with Jesus!"I wonder if that's what all exhortation to service should begin. Not to emphasize the many forms of loving and serving (or not loving and serving).But intimacy. Abiding.ie.Want to serve God?Want to love your neighbour?Find intimacy with the Lord.He's the Fountain from which service and love flows!In God's abounding love,Richard
Praise the Lord brother, you have thought all of this out well I see.You are correct that the second commandment is not possible to keep without keeping the first one. Jesus was continually slipping away to be alone with the Father. If we do not spend time in fellowship with God and His Word, we have nothing to offer our neighbor that will do them any eternal good, in this life or the next. One more thing, I'm sorry for using the abreviation "ihmo". It is cyber jargon for "in my humble opinion". God bless you real good.