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Communion Meditations (2014)

Jealousy

Originally scheduled for December 21

You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

(1 Corinthians 10:21-22 NASB)

 

One of the most neglected concepts in the modern church is that of holiness. The central idea of holiness is that of separation, something set apart. Holiness, therefore, has two aspects.

·         Holiness first means that you are separated from the world. There are things you do not do, places you do not go because they tend to pull you away. Note, please, that the list of places and things is different for each Christian.

·         Holiness also means that you are separated towards God. As you give up the things of this world, you replace them with the things of God. Indeed, as holiness grows, it is not so much recognized by what you don’t do but what you do for God.

Note that neither of these is driven by the idea, “what will so-and-so  think?” Holiness is not concerned with public opinion.

We take this concept in response to Paul’s question here about the Lord being provoked to jealousy. Jealousy is usually taken as an evil thing; but there are certain instances in which it is perfectly normal and righteous. God’s love for us is a jealous love; just as my love for my wife is a jealous love. We hear from the modern world that if I really love my wife I would let her have sex with anyone she chose. Both of us would reply quite simply that we have chosen each other, exclusively. In fact, I’m rather particular about the point (and she is too). If you want to know why, consider this: the jealousy of lovers for each other produces faithfulness in marriage. People are sometimes surprised at how long the two of us have been married; they take it as normal that marriages will break apart. It’s rather a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you don’t think your marriage is going to last, it probably won’t.

But Christ’s marriage to the church is designed to be eternal. Therefore God is a jealous God, watching over his bride to bring her in to complete and holy faithfulness.

There is a dull temptation to treat communion as routine. Especially if it is given every week, it sometimes seems to descendent being a rather boring ritual. But remember — the Lord is a jealous God, watching over his bride. If he is not pleased with you in this, remember that he is much stronger than we are. Therefore, examine your self before you partake of communion today. If the dullness of repetitiveness has said in, ask him to spark the Holy Spirit in your life. Self-examination leads to repentance; repentance leads to forgiveness — the very grace of God.

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