Saturday, November 18

I am jealous for you

Scripture: Psalm 124, 2 Corinthians 11-13

2 Corinthians 11:2-4 I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself. I am afraid that your minds will be corrupted and that you will abandon your full and pure devotion to Christ—in the same way that Eve was deceived by the snake’s clever lies. For you gladly tolerate anyone who comes to you and preaches a different Jesus, not the one we preached; and you accept a spirit and a gospel completely different from the Spirit and the gospel you received from us!

Observation/application

“I am jealous for you,” Paul says, “just as God is.”

The Corinthians were accepting a different Jesus, a different spirit and gospel.  Paul was afraid that they were abandoning their full and pure devotion to Christ.  So he was jealous for them, just as God is. How is God jealous for us?

God wants and deserves our full and pure devotion.  Just as a husband (or wife) expects full and pure devotion from their spouse, so Jesus expects that from us.  And yet we are easily distracted.  We wander.  Other things capture our hearts, our attention and affection.  Jesus gets displaced by something else.

It could be, like the Corinthians, a different god, a different faith.  I have seen some Christians wander from the faith, and adopt a different one altogether.  But most of us are not in danger of leaving Jesus for a cult or a different religion.

More often Jesus gets displaced by something more mundane.  We get bored and distracted; we stop coming to church, stop reading our Bible, and get swept up in something else: a hobby, a career, a relationship.  I’ve seen devoted Christians become lukewarm or sidelined because something else caught their fancy and displaced Jesus.

God is jealous for me.  What threatens my full and pure devotion to Christ?  Here are some things that distract me, some other things that I can be devoted to: my comfort; approval and acceptance; success; my own strategies (doing it my way for Jesus rather than with Jesus); ministry and church. (I’m sure there are others.)

Today, I want to hear the Lord saying, “I am jealous for you.”  And I want to respond by directing my full and pure devotion to Him.

Prayer: Lord, show me what distracts me; and alert me when I’m drifting.  Help me to live with a full and pure devotion to Jesus.