I love truths in the Bible. In John 16:7-15, we see Jesus teaching that he would leave the physical relationship he had with his disciples so that they can experience a closer relationship with him through his Spirit. A physical relationship has its limits. The Old Testament relationship was contained mostly in the Temple and specific places of worship. Jesus’ First Advent brought that relationship closer and more interactively through his physical presence as a human living among humans in space and time. Now he enables us to relate to him through his indwelling Spirit 24/7. There is no closer relationship possible.
The external expression of this internal intimacy is the fruit of the Spirit, which consists of agapé, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, humility, and self-control. Agapé is the commitment to bless—to bring God’s intention to—others at a cost to ourselves.
In today’s entry in My Utmost for His Highest, Chambers teaches: Once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely and we never lack for understanding or compassion. God is agapé (1 John 4:6) and Christ is the radiance of God’s glory (character) and the exact expression of God’s nature (Hebrews 1:3). Therefore, the first expression of Christians’ intimacy with Christ’s Spirit is their commitment to bless others even when it costs them.
In our home healthcare business, we know we have blessed our clients who pay us for the services they receive. The caregivers, care managers, and office staffs are blessed through their income and the fulfilment in improving the quality of life in others. The owners are blessed through a reasonable return for their investments. But as Christians owners, are we willing to bless others at a cost to ourselves, and look only to God to bless us? It’s not that God does not or cannot bless us through a profitable business, but that we don’t chase after profit to such an extent that money becomes mammon.