Since yesterday on outreach this great theme has been germinating in my mind.
'The Decent Order of Grace'
How intimacy with God based on the finished work produces and promotes an order that has honor and excellence. This order is born in freedom But it is not freedom without boundaries. It is framed in discipleship. This honest order promotes connection and dignifies the individual without compromising holiness or stealing glory from God.
There is so much in 1 Corinthians chapter 14 and 15 relating to this subject. I've been reading these chapters again and again.
Decent order is what we want in our lives... in our homes and churches... in our businesses. It won't be found in rules but we want it.
Perhaps I will have liberty to study it and write about it this week. I think it starts here:
"Follow after charity..." 1 Cor 14:1a
A disciple pursues love. That is our apprenticeship. To chase down God's love. To clear everything else away until we find it. Chasing love is honest and in order. It raises the bar in every situation and interaction. I won't pursue other things if I am pursuing love. We don't need a complex rule book to do this. It is an honest pursuit with a simple objective.
Many people spend their lives looking for love in the wrong places. If you look for love in God you will find it in the face of Christ. That love begins to order our lives in an amazing way. In an honest way.
"Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy. For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit." 1 Cor 14:1-2 ESV
Chase love and desire to unveil the gifts won for you at the cross. Gifts born in love and for love's sake. Gifts that build up. Individual manifestations that reveal a corporate life that is a greater manifestation and magnification than any one single life can be.
But, If you are going to look to be able do something let it be communication. Seek to communicate the cross. Find a way from God to bridge the gap and make it known what Christ has done there.
You may have a great one-on-one relationship with God. I hope everyone who reads this does. If you do... the cross is the reason you do. It is God's decent order that you and I would look for ways to communicate His love to other people an intelligible purposeful way.
There were twelve Apostles recognized by God in the scriptures. Judas never was one. His 'sending' never happened. It was a mystery but Paul was to fill that gap. The man who was given grace in clarity. A man born out of season filled up the number. We may not be Apostles but we all are sent ones. Not all have the gift of evangelism, making us Evangelists, but we all evangelize. All of us are not preachers but we all communicate and it is in order that we would grow as communicators all the days of our lives.
Paul being born 'out of season' was decent and in order as far as grace was concerned. He was an Apostle and the others recognized the truth of it even though he did have the same three years of walking with God that they had. This twelfth man could communicate grace on a level that Peter respected. Paul challenged Peter to grow. He challenged him to live in the message by words and by example. It was God's order.
Seek the love you have found in Christ... the love that has found you. Desire to discover the spiritual impartations given to express the words that impart hope.
Most of us are 'out of season' communicators. Most of chapter 14 discusses the correct channels for that out of season communication. It is worth reading and thinking about.