His Command

‘This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’ John 15:12 NKJV

If love depended on someone else’s actions and reactions, or if it’s an emotion you can’t control, Jesus wouldn’t have said, ‘This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.’ That means love is a choice you make. It’s initiated by your will.

Jesus also said, ‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.’ (Luke 6:27–28 NKJV) And what He commands you to do, He will give you the grace to carry out.

For thousands of years (and to this day in some Eastern cultures), parents arranged their children’s marriages. Many brides and bridegrooms never saw each other until their wedding day. A young woman from India was to be married to a man she didn’t know. One day she received a letter from her fiancé, designed to acquaint her with him prior to the wedding. But the bride-to-be returned the letter unopened, saying she believed love should be developed after marriage, not before. ‘When we’re born,’ she wrote, ‘we don’t get to choose our mother, father, brothers and sisters, yet we learn to live with them and to love them. So it is with a husband or wife.’ In societies that endorse this philosophy, divorce is almost non-existent.

Now, we’re not advocating arranged marriages, but the notion of ‘romantic love’ so prevalent today has little to do with a successful marriage. When you endeavour to love someone unconditionally the way Christ loves you—whether it’s in marriage or any other relationship—you experience joy and fulfilment.

SoulFood: Gen 2:7–25, 1 Cor 15:39–55

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Genesis 2:7–25

then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good; bdellium and onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon. It is the one that flowed around the whole land of Cush. 14 And the name of the third river is the Tigris, which flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

  “This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
  she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:1

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.

1 Corinthians 15:39–55

39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

  “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
55   “O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

Sun 19 September, 2021


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