“And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate [his sons and daughters], and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, ‘It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.’ Thus Job did continually.” Job 1:5
In the initial description we are given of Job, a man “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil,” the author paints this picture. Job’s love for his children and his fear of God are seen in this continual act, this intentional sacrifice on the behalf of his family.
Because it was a sacrifice. He would rise early. He would offer burnt offerings for each of them—7 sons and 3 daughters. Regardless of whether he knew they had sinned or not. This was the extent of his care for their well-being.
What this is speaking to my heart is a challenge to our mindset. It is so easy to become self-focused, even if we have the best intentions of otherwise. But we are called to more. Ephesians 5:19-21 commands us to address one another “with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness…Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
We are to love one another with a love that extends past what is convenient or comfortable for us. Our love for Christ and His church should result in our submission to one another—the laying down of our preferences, our pride, and our resources (money, time, strengths, etc.).
One application that we see of this is time spent in prayer for others. In each of Paul’s letters he writes of how intently he prays for his fellow Christians. We see his love for them come across in his words and in the fact that he constantly remembered them in prayer. He acted on his concern for them. It was a priority. Because the well-being of those around us should be a priority. “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Lord, teach us what it is to love each other purely and wholeheartedly. With intention, commitment, and sacrifice. Strengthen us to fix our eyes on You and not on ourselves. Work in us. May our pride and selfishness be uprooted so that Your love and humility grow in our heart. I pray that this love and humility will be evidenced in each of us by our submission to one another. We won’t lose here. We won’t miss out. Because we will gain Christ. We will know Your provision, Your steadfastness, Your joy, and the satisfaction of resting in You. We will enjoy fellowship with our Lord and fellowship with each other. And that is better than anything else we could pursue.