We love each other because he loved us first. ~ 1 John 4:19
Do you ever find yourself sitting on the sidelines, watching others contentedly reading the Bible, praying, and serving God and others? If we feel that way, it may be a symptom that we are not actively seeking God and receiving his love. We have discovered that, we may think we love God and others, but unless we first receive God’s love, and continue to seek to be filled with it, we will be unable to truly do either.
One of the Holy Spirit’s jobs is to soften our worldly, hardened hearts as he draws us to Jesus. When we are willing to believe in Christ, the Spirit fills our hearts with God’s love (Rom. 5:5), not just once, but whenever we are needing and willing to receive it. As a result, gradually, we begin to love what God loves: God, others, ourselves and all the beautiful, glorious things he created. In doing so, we discover the very reason for which we were created, to be in intimate relationship with God.
Everything God does for us is motivated by his love. God’s Word tells us we are to imitate Christ, to become more and more like him. That sounds impossible, but as we are created in his image and likeness (Gen.1:26), with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can do it! Therefore, our motivation eventually should become the same as Jesus’. God’s love begins to compel us, to move us into action for God’s glory and other’s benefit. (2 Cor.5:14)
That love, that motivation, is the most powerful force in the universe. Knowing the suffering and pain that awaited him, Jesus chose to be tortured and to die on a cross for us. He did that, not only to obey the Father, but “for the joy set before him” (Heb.12:2), since in doing so, he would be eternally reunited with his beloved Bride, us. He saw your face and mine, and loved us, and said “yes” even to defilement and death for us.
Are you willing to believe that Jesus loves you that much? Stop and ask the Holy Spirit to make that truth real in your heart. Then, raise your hands to receive it and pray, “Jesus, fill me to overflowing with your love. I want to love like you. Amen.” Receive his love. Feel it filling you. Thank God for it. The meaning and purpose of your very life start here.
Dear friend, may you rest in Jesus’ embrace and release all sadness, trauma and pain caused by this virus. Be richly blessed as you ask and are filled to overflowing with his powerful, overcoming love. Be filled with joy as you are able to love God, others and the things that please the Father as never before. Amen.
Mary Sumner, June 10, 2020