Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: LOVE (agape and/or phileo) (03/12/15)
TITLE: For the joy
By Lisa Enqvist
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He kept his eyes focused, aiming for the goal. He let nothing deter him while keeping the great prize in sight. For the joy and thrill of winning that prize he was willing to give up everything he was entitled to.
What was that goal? What was the prize he so eagerly and willingly suffered for? What was the joy he longed for? He already enjoyed the fullness of joy with his Father.Psalms 16:11
During his earthly life he gave examples of what that prize was, and how he wanted us to share it with him. He was obedient to the will of God, and through his obedience he reached his goal. His goal was to win our hearts through his sacrifice of love. He was willing to pay the highest price ever – to win our love. Our response in obedience is the prize he kept in sight through all his suffering.
He reached the depth of suffering for those who suffered most. He felt the depth of loneliness and loss to open a way to comfort and healing. He bowed his head to hatred to win the hearts of the downtrodden. He forgave the ones who killed him to open the way for all mankind to find forgiveness and to know the heart of God. To know the heart of God is to know his love and compassion. To know the heart of God is to learn to love others.
And when we love others (are faithful and obedient in using our gifts) we are invited to ‘enter in to the joy of our Lord’. Matthew 25:21,23. That is the focus he wants us to have so that we too can reach the goal – the fullness of his love – and to share it with others around us. Ephesians 3:14-19.
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