Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Love For Us, Love In Us"

"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:37-39).
"I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (John 17:26).
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
From precept to prayer to provision and presence, the progression of God's love revealed to us and within us by the Holy Spirit is the pervasive reality of our lives.

Fulfillment of the two great commands to love God and man required the intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ in both prayer and the death of the cross. First, He prayed for all believers in His high priestly intercession in John 17 that we would become the temple of the love of God. Then He arose from prayer to purchase the answer by experiencing the Father's wrath against sin. After He died and then arose from the dead, He sent forth the Holy Spirit to indwell all who believe. Thereby the precept of love becomes the presence of love within our hearts.

We don't give enough consideration to this most amazing of miracles. Indeed, it is one thing to be loved by God. Eternity will not be long enough to fully plumb the depths of such glory. It is another thing altogether, however, to be literally inhabited by the love of God. Thereby we are enabled to "walk even as Christ walked," and to experience the wonder of His character, nature, and way formed in the very depths of our being (I John 2:6). This is peace. This is joy. And this is fulfillment because in a universe created by the God who "is love," we must swim with the current of His unselfish devotion to others if our hearts are to rest and rejoice (I John 4:8).

The command to love God and others becomes the very content of our hearts when we believe in the Lord Jesus. We may not fully realize it in our present existence, and our lives will not always reflect the blessed reality. Nevertheless we must know and believe that such truth is true. Our experience and expression of God's love depends on the confidence that reckons the Word of God as faithful despite any evidence to the contrary. Again, the Lord Jesus prayed for the love of God to take residence not only with us, but within us. He died for this. He arose from death, and sent forth the Holy Spirit to inhabit the hearts of those who believe. Thereby the love of God is lavishly dispensed into the very center of our being. We can love God and others, and it is the delight of our hearts to do so (Romans 7:22; Philippians 4:13). Much was prayed, much was sacrificed, and much was given to form this living truth in our hearts. May we believe, and then be amazed as the love of God for us is most realized as it is moves within us in devotion to Him and to others.

"He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
(John 7:38)

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