Monday, January 3, 2011

"The Mastery of Love"

     "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).
     Only the Lord Jesus Christ can truthfully declare this promise to our hearts.  All other yokes are hard, all other burdens heavy, and there is no rest for our souls save in the sabbath of He who calls us to cease from our own works (Hebrews 4:10).
    "We are His workmanship... it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 2:13).
    Believers work, but we do so from God rather than for Him.  The quality of life to which He calls us - the life of Christ Himself - is far beyond our native willingness, ability, and capacity.  We were created for habitation, that is, to be the very dwellingplace of the Lord Jesus Himself for the purpose of His living and walking in us (II Corinthians 6:16).  When we are born again through faith, the Spirit of God takes residence within us for the sublime purpose of Christ's life replacing the wicked and deluded notion that we can independently navigate the course of our existence.  We cannot - "without Me, ye can do nothing" - and both Old Testament and New declare that "He is thy life" (Deuteronomy 30:20; Colossians 3:4).
    The born again believer awakens in each new day to the easy yoke and light burden of a Master whose commands to obey are preceded and empowered by His promises to produce both willingness and doing in us.  All other lords require self motivation and effort.  The Lord Jesus provides motivation and effort as we trust His Word concerning a "power that worketh in us" that is "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).  Little wonder that the writer of Hebrews exulted in "so great salvation," the salvation that not only freely grants relationship with God, but also works in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Hebrews 2:3). 
     Finally, let us also recall that the Lordship of Jesus is a mastery of love.  Our Savior does not dominate or humiliate us by His rulership.  He rather lifts us up from the mire of shame and frustration wrought upon us by so many false masters.  Our humanity is actualized by the presence of His divinity as the indwelling Holy Spirit energizes our unique faculties for the glory of God.  All is done with a devotion of affection, good will, and joy that governs with gladness, the gladness of a Father whose love for one Son led to His "bringing many sons unto glory" (Hebrews 2:10).  Realization of this mastery of love leads to the joyful service of love and the easy yoke and light burden that the Lord Jesus alone commands.
"Whereunto I also labor, striving according to His working, which worketh in me mightily."
(Colossians 1:29)


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