12/14/16: What Will I Give Up?
The book of Second John was written “to the elect lady and her children.” As I read this short book of only 13 verses, it dawned upon me that the apostles may not have had much of a love life. They seemed to have been constantly on the move, driven as the first vital messengers after the Resurrection, dedicated to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. John writes to this lady, whoever she was, and gives her one basic warning: watch out for people “who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh” (verse 7). His closing personal thought to her is, “Having many things to write to you, I did not wish to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be full” II John 1:12 (NKJ).
We may never know if there was more to this relationship than elder to parishioner, but it’s striking to think about all the apostles gave up in order to reach the world with the Gospel. Oswald Chambers said, “The men and women our Lord sends out on His enterprises are the ordinary human stuff, plus dominating devotion to Himself wrought by the Holy Ghost.” (Utmost)
We’re all “ordinary human stuff,” but do we have “dominating devotion” to Jesus that will, if called upon to do so, move us to give up some things others couldn’t dream of living without? Can we say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” Job 13:15 (KJV)?
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