The Daily Link: My Love Be With You All

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The Apostle Paul prayed that the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ would be with the believers in Corinth. Who could ask for more? However, in the next verse, he adds, “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Corinthians 16:24). Why? The grace of Christ produces love in our hearts. Love delights in reciprocal love.  

God designed us to love each other. Paul was interested in each person in Corinth. They didn’t constitute numbers on his conversion list or followers of his ministry to whom he could send flattering donation appeal letters. They were individuals created in God’s image, and he loved them.  

Paul wasn’t the type to parachute in and out of people’s lives depending on his “preaching tour schedule.” He knew them intimately. “So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8). Paul’s words express the strongest affection and connection. 

Paul prays this for us: “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you” (1 Thessalonians 3:12). 

The Daily Link: The Christian World View

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, helping us maneuver through life. The fear of the Lord includes knowing who God is, what He’s done, what He’s doing, and what He’s going to do. Faith gives the believer assurance. God promised Abraham a land that the Canaanites occupied. However, Abraham’s faith looked beyond the current situation and saw that same ground occupied by him and his descendants (Genesis 12:6-7, King James Bible).

So, too, believers see through the current corruption and chaos to the orderly establishment to come. The trouble for the believer is the present evil. Today, the believer’s greatest virtue is patience. The story of Job beautifully illustrates the struggle. Job has a prose introduction in which Job loses everything and a prose conclusion in which Job has everything he lost restored double. In between describes, in poetry, a great struggle between Job, his friends, and God Himself, which resembles the larger conflict of the ages. The believer, too, struggles now and complains from time to time, but he knows what’s coming. Like Job, He knows His Redeemer lives and that resurrection is assured.

The Christian worldview gives the believer joy amid suffering, encourages him to love others despite their behavior, and inspires him to sacrifice for others irrespective of gratitude.

The Daily Link: Who Is Jesus Christ?

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Jesus Christ is the greatest masterpiece, the object of God’s affection and esteem. God calls upon humans to see Christ through His eyes. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17, King James Bible). For the first time, God had an object on earth that perfectly reflected Him. Peter records the believer’s response to God’s call, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious” (1 Peter 2:7, King James Bible). Humans in fellowship with God look at the same object – Christ. God also sees humanity in Christ, the perfect man, and He is pleased with it because Jesus Christ represents humanity in its ideal. 

Furthermore, Jesus is God’s logos, or word, which means He is God’s expression, become flesh (John 1:1, 14, King James Bible). God loves to communicate, and Jesus Christ is God’s most fabulous word to humanity. Through Christ, we hear God. The Lord Jesus announced the nearness of God’s Kingdom, proclaimed its principles, lived in perfection, and then died and rose again to ensure its reality on earth. Christ is the invisible God’s image, representing God’s ultimate dominion over creation (Colossians 1:15). Through Christ, we see God. 

Additionally, Christ is the firstborn of all creation and the firstborn from the dead, which means He is responsible for the universe and its beings (Colossians 1:15, 18, King James Bible). Christ will restore beings and their environment as the firstborn, eliminating every trace of sin and its consequences. God’s kingdom will embrace all families of the earth according to the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Thomas admitted from his knees that Jesus is his Lord and God (Matthew 16, John 20, King James Bible). Christ, through His cross, abolishes death, for “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22, King James Bible). 

The Christian worldview sees beyond the current wars, disease, and strife to the future world established by the Lord Jesus Christ, the humbled one Who is now exalted. Jesus is exclusively the true and living way to God, the sole provider of Redemption, Resurrection, and Restoration. 

The Daily Link: What is Man?

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The incomparable Creator-God’s crowning achievement is humanity. God created man last because he is the center and head of the world that He made. According to Genesis 1:26, God created man in His image and likeness, which Scripture defines in the same verse when describing man’s dominion. Man, like God, is to rule, but only God is the ultimate sovereign. Man is below God but above the animals, which is why in verse 27, God repeats three times that He created humanity in His image.

God created man to be productive and use His resources to His glory, putting him into the garden to dress it and keep it safe. In short, man was created to glorify God in his work and keep evil influences out of his realm. God also created man with the ability to think, reason, and communicate with Himself and other humans. He gave Adam the responsibility to classify the animals, which meant he had to study them and provide them with a name suitable to their natures. God also designed humans to be social creatures, which is why He made the woman. Under God, husband and wife were to manage God’s resources, raise a family, and pass God’s truth to the next generation. Humanity is God’s masterpiece, which leads us to the greatest masterpiece of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll talk about Him next.

The Daily Link: Who Is God?

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God is the premiere person and ultimate reality in the universe. The Bible begins and ends with God. “In the beginning God…then cometh the end…that God may be all in all” (Genesis 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15: 24, 28, King James Bible). God is the Creator-Redeemer. Creation came out of God, history moves along in terms of His redemptive plan, and that plan will successfully conclude when God becomes everything to everyone. In short, God is sovereign, which means He governs what He created.

Unlike the disinterested gods of the nations, God loves humanity, is intimately involved in its activities and reveals Himself to it through the dual revelation of nature and Sacred Scripture. God is greater than His creation (Job 36:26, King James Bible), which means He is outside and over it. God is also good. According to Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary, God and good are written the same in the Saxon language (Webster, 1828). The English word “God” is Anglo-Saxon, and they saw God and good as correlative terms, the source of all human happiness. The Hebrew word translated God is Elohim, a plural noun, a Hebrew figure of speech known as the Plural of Majesty, which speaks of the glory, the greatness, the goodness, the love, the righteousness, and the sovereignty of the one true and living God. God has no equal.

The Daily Link: God’s Love Means Twins

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“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (KJV, Matthew 22:37-39).

Biblical faith is about love for God and our neighbors. The Lord Jesus said the second commandment looks like the first. Love for God looks like love for one’s neighbor – they’re twins. What’s a neighbor? People in your sphere of influence.

“We receive Christ not only as a gift by faith, but also as an example of love toward our neighbor, whom we are to serve as Christ serves us. Faith brings and gives Christ to you with all his possessions. Love gives you to your neighbor with all your possessions. These two things constitute a true and complete Christian life; then follow suffering and persecution for such faith and love, and out of these grows hope and patience” (Martin Luther).

“God is very good to us…Let us enjoy His favors with a thankful and cheerful heart; and, as we can make no direct return to Him, [let us] show our sense of his goodness to us by continuing to do good to our fellow-creatures, without regarding the returns they make us, whether good or bad. For they are all His children, though they may sometimes be our enemies” (Benjamin Franklin).

“Now love does not receive his mercy, but faith only; out of which faith love springs, by which love I pour out again upon my neighbor that goodness that I have received of God by faith…we make good works fruits, by which our neighbor is the better, and by which God is honored…by which we know that our faith is no trick of imagination and dead opinion…but a living thing produced by the Holy Spirit” (William Tyndale).