Are You Last?

Oct 8, 2011
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Winfield, Mo.
#1
Just so it will be known, for now I will be posting only certain articles that I am certain which will not conflict with the forum rules. God bless!



As we already know, the primary goal of every believer is to put others before self (Phl 2:3). This is the priority for those who desire to put God first because it is how we “keep” His “commands” (John 14:15), which are summed up into one—namely “love one another” (John 15:12, 17). Therefore to love God is to love others, and anything short of this intention is merely immaturity concerning our “growing up into Him in all things” (Eph 4:15).

Until this is our intention in what we do we cannot rightly “walk in the Spirit,” for “love” is the foremost “fruit of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22)! Thus, it can be safely assumed that love to others is the greatest work of God within a soul; it undoubtedly is the spiritual growth determinant of the saint.

Though our practical love to others cannot be continuous (due to the old man), the desire for it should ever be final, manifesting at least to self, God’s “work” in us (Phl 2:13). The disappointment in this inconsistency can be compensated by being encouraged to know that God knows (because He puts it in you) your overall intention is love to others. To me this can be seen similar to Peter (I believe) being encouraged in knowing Christ knew he loved Him when he appealed to Jesus in answering Him a third time with, “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:15-17).

I believe “love” was Apostle John’s prominent attribute which God had worked in his life, which is seen dominant in his writings, and could have been why he was Jesus’ favorite (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20, 24). Not that He loved John more than any other, “but as a man, He had a particular affection for this disciple” – J G.

As we seek God to make neighborly love a priority in our lives, let us be patient while we see Him gradually and assuredly working it to be not only desirable, but more importantly—practical in our walk with Him. Thank God that we know that He knows that we love Him above all, and it is this ultimatum that makes our love to all others an ever-conscious priority!
NC
 
#2
I might be inferring things from the Bible but do we know how old Peter was compared to John? Peter seemed very immature when we first read about him but a great change comes about once he converts. He becomes this bold witness when before he was weak and timid and even denied knowing Jesus. He becomes so bold that even when placed in jail he cant stop talking about Jesus.

John's conversion was not quite so dramatic as Peter's but we do know he was called a 'son of thunder' (was he an angry man? He did say he wanted God to smite his enemies, and Jesus was like no, you have no idea what spirit you are speaking of!) and how he becomes this gentle, meek person after knowing Jesus, writing extensively on love and living to an old age in Revelation - he outlived all the other apostles and was trusted to look after Mary after Jesus was taken up.

It seems James might have been one of one of the snobby disciples who was always being snarky and thinking he was superior. But you read his letter he becomes this great advocate for social justice.

And then theres intellectual, insular, proud Pharisee Saul, who becomes Paul reaching out to others who arent even his own The gentiles he once shunned.

Whatever our flaws and faults Jesus is working on us to make us perfect..and does a complete makeover of us. He takes off the old man and puts on the NEW.
 

bobinfaith

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#3
Dear Lanolin;

I have to be honest, your posts do have a sprinkle of humor in them and thats a good thing. For example, James was one of the "snobby" disciples. lol! I never heard it put that way before. I do know James and John's mother wanted her son's preference over the others when she asked Jesus if they could sit on his right and left in heaven? This makes a point regarding "Are You Last?"

Years ago I used to have an issue with Paul and his letters in the New Testament. I felt he was arrogant, always talking like he knew it all. The whole Bible study group laughed when I shared that. Later my Pastor approached me and told me, in a way I wanted to be first with attention in the class instead of being last by listening to Paul's teaching. I could have told my pastor to lighten up, but he was right and this humbled me.

The Bible doesn't reveal the age comparison of the 12 disciples. Jesus was about 30 when he began his ministry so it may be the 12 were younger than Him. If anyone can provide more info on the age thing would be appreciated.

As we already know, the primary goal of every believer is to put others before self (Phl 2:3).
Though our practical love to others cannot be continuous (due to the old man), the desire for it should ever be final, manifesting at least to self, God’s “work” in us (Phl 2:13). The disappointment in this inconsistency can be compensated by being encouraged to know that God knows (because He puts it in you) your overall intention is love to others. As we seek God to make neighborly love a priority in our lives, let us be patient while we see Him gradually and assuredly working it to be not only desirable, but more importantly—practical in our walk with Him. Thank God that we know that He knows that we love Him above all, and it is this ultimatum that makes our love to all others an ever-conscious priority!
NC
Hello Netchaplain;

For many believers in Christ, "Are You Last" becomes a huge part of who He is, in us. Serving others first takes sacrifice on our part, again, because of who Jesus is, in us.

However, there are many moments when we will say, "hey, when is it my turn to be blessed?" This is where the benefit of the Holy Spirit works within us as well, to remind us that all along we are being blessed - last.

To learn this application as a disciple takes patience, and as we continue to grow in patience, our love for others grows as well. As our patience and love grows, we learn to be more last.

For me, being last is seeing the joy in others when serving them first.

Good thread, Netchaplain, thank you for sharing with us, brother.
 
Oct 8, 2011
1,114
301
83
Winfield, Mo.
#4
Whatever our flaws and faults Jesus is working on us to make us perfect..and does a complete makeover of us. He takes off the old man and puts on the NEW.
Conditionally (physical, mental and emotions) we will remain imperfect here, but spiritually we are, since out rebirth "perfected forever" (Heb 10:14). It is in our new nature that we are spiritually perfect, because it His "seed" (nature) in us that "cannot sin" (1 John 3:9).

Blessings!
 
Amens/Likes: bobinfaith
Oct 8, 2011
1,114
301
83
Winfield, Mo.
#5
Dear Lanolin;

I have to be honest, your posts do have a sprinkle of humor in them and thats a good thing. For example, James was one of the "snobby" disciples. lol! I never heard it put that way before. I do know James and John's mother wanted her son's preference over the others when she asked Jesus if they could sit on his right and left in heaven? This makes a point regarding "Are You Last?"

Years ago I used to have an issue with Paul and his letters in the New Testament. I felt he was arrogant, always talking like he knew it all. The whole Bible study group laughed when I shared that. Later my Pastor approached me and told me, in a way I wanted to be first with attention in the class instead of being last by listening to Paul's teaching. I could have told my pastor to lighten up, but he was right and this humbled me.

The Bible doesn't reveal the age comparison of the 12 disciples. Jesus was about 30 when he began his ministry so it may be the 12 were younger than Him. If anyone can provide more info on the age thing would be appreciated.



Hello Netchaplain;

For many believers in Christ, "Are You Last" becomes a huge part of who He is, in us. Serving others first takes sacrifice on our part, again, because of who Jesus is, in us.

However, there are many moments when we will say, "hey, when is it my turn to be blessed?" This is where the benefit of the Holy Spirit works within us as well, to remind us that all along we are being blessed - last.

To learn this application as a disciple takes patience, and as we continue to grow in patience, our love for others grows as well. As our patience and love grows, we learn to be more last.

For me, being last is seeing the joy in others when serving them first.

Good thread, Netchaplain, thank you for sharing with us, brother.
Amen Bob (I'm also a Bob), and as you've mentioned we will continue to grow in this service, which I believe becomes less all the time as a sacrifice and more of a joy.

Blessings!
 
Amens/Likes: bobinfaith