Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Love of God - Love For God" 

    In the trusting heart, love begets love.    

"We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).    

The source of loving Godoriginates in His loving us.  We would have no interest in the concept or the relationship if the Lord did not reveal to us His devotion, and if His Spirit did not work in our hearts to motivate and enable our reciprocal response. Of course, this does not involve programming or coercion on God's part, but rather a drawing of us to Himself whereby we freely join King David is his declaration of both determination and dependence: "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1).  Indeed, when our "I will love" unites with "O Lord, my strength," we apprehend the blessed reason for our existence, namely, we honor our Lord by being loved and by loving in response.    

Our love for God would have no meaning or blessedness to Him if we had no role in the relationship.  However, our love for God could not exist without His moving upon us and within us.  Again, we must determine to love, but always from the recognition that dependence on the Holy Spirit enables our capacity for love.  As the Lord Jesus told His disciples, "Without Me, ye can do nothing," and then, as the Apostle Paul wrote, "I can do all things through Christ which strengheneth me" (John 15:5; Philippians 4:13).  This union of faith and devotion doubtless blesses our Heavenly Father's heart far more than we can imagine, and it surely blesses our own hearts.   

I once heard someone say that loving God is actually God loving Himself in us.  This is not true, in my view.  We possess a real and distinct personhood, whereby we make genuine determinations to devote ourselves to the Lord Jesus.  We do so, however, in full awareness of His love, "shed abroad in our hearts by the HolySpirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  In accordance with the New Testament dynamic of "we shall live by Him," we will to love God in full awareness and confidence that He works in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (I John 4:9; Philippians 2:13).  Is it God, or is it us?  Yes.  It is both.  He receives all the glory because He is the originator and enabler of the relationship.  We receive blessing because we willingly and consciously experience the essence of our existence.  Yes, in the trusting heart, love, the love of God for man, begets love, the love of man for God.  A sublime mystery in many ways, and one so wondrous that even angels desire to gaze upon the beauty and glory (I Peter 1:12).

"The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."                                                   
(I Timothy 1:14)

"O love the LORD, all ye His saints."(Psalm 31:23)

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