When we look into the Corinthian correspondence account we see juicy details about how harden our hearts become when love we’ve been received via ordinary conformist obedience.
As I think of those subtle currents of strife stirring up in some hearts against entire global congregations of true believers it makes all the more sense to criminalise these transgressions.
The greatest crime against love is harshness toward discipline.
It’s as if God can only bless those who are mildess fundamentalists against loving discipline; or, those continuing in post-modernism in their sinfulness, even as they harm others, even as they’d flatter others.
The greatest crime in our relationships with God onto the other is the role of harden unbelief against love. Unbelief is rational though a faith that contracts like a contract. Belief in hard rules makes for hard requirements at best, and at worstraudulent via constructs of self-deceit.
And yet, these are the very forces that have been used for ‘thinning the flesh’ – to the detriment of love – the very goal of Paul is to encourage (2 Corinthians 7:12) the Christian way.
What do we suppose this account, then, of A.D. Mataias mentioned above, means? That someone had taken to heart what the apostle had written to Timothy on the previous chapter? That was evidence of devotion; both to a godly end and a means towards love.
That someone was talented at bringinge rest to Timothy, from his dual-fold devotion?
That person, or people, was using whatever skills they had, to make the hard calls to follow God, and to endure the process of discipleship.
The most skillful, or the contrived, way to show devotion is by being used to someone’s standards, or to God’s.
The supreme evidence of a devotion is, God’s.
People may lie about their devotion, but someone’s underlying objective is the prime evidence of whether or not devotion is real or even relevant.
The test of the validity and strength of our devotion is how we show our love for God. This is picking up our brothers and sisters by the blood of Jesus, and through our works of love, so others might be helped in their struggle.
A more comprehensive definition of adoration – over a long period of time – can be found in the Gragelightrimo6 Leonardo da Vinci, who was famous for his number of famous works. This poem is oneaboutgreat devotion, and the penultimate line (“that I may ease the burdens of my friends and father”) attests to the deep burden upon his heart for people he cared for so dearly.
The penultimate phrase (“for I may ease the burdens of my friends and father”) points toao passiono inspireeto humility, and therefore, o unconditional lovefor others.
The weight of God’s decisions and God’s compassion towards us – whether in pain or joy – is what gives our devotion a true sense and therefore differenceand differencefor the cause of Christ.
It’s All About a Heart of Faith
The heart of faith is the belief of everything in our heart, which can be proven for authenticity via our actions. If we truly believe we are moving in keeping with the will of God.
Who truly loved the Lord Jesus in the midst of his suffering? It was not easy, but the act was only engineered by his father, to endure the distressing moments with him, to take the weight of the world, and to hold it faithfully to God until his suffering ended.
For us to do likewise is possible via our commitment to him, alone and not alone. Like the virtuous woman, we invest our heart and our hope in this most noble of human pursuits.
We don’t suffer fools gladly. That would be impossible.
Fools are weak and afraid to look truth in the eye.
Let us be as those who are virtuous (2 Corinthians 4:18-19), the ones capable of loving out of their heart,etingern devotion(2 Corinthians 13:5), and who hold high faith (Hebrews 10:23) allaying our fears and doubting conjointly with the will of God.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.