Saturday, April 26, 2014

“Provided, Guided, Kept”

     The New Testament declares of born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.”  Moreover, the Apostle Paul prayed for the Thessalonian Christians, “The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God.”  Finally, Jude commands us to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Romans 5:5; II Thessalonians 3:5; Jude 1:21).

     1.  God’s love is present within us.
     2.  He must guide us into His love.
     3.  We play a role in preserving our awareness and experience of our Lord’s love.

     We must embrace Paul’s affirmation of our Lord’s love “shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.”  Faith in Christ imparts to believers the devotion, motivation, and power necessary to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30).  We may not always remember and respond to the fact of such presence and enabling, but it always exists within us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.  We love our Heavenly Father as we seek to do everything, that is, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me” (Philippians 4:13).

    Thus, Paul prays for the Lord to direct the Thessalonians’ hearts into God’s love.  This involves the faith of remembrance, affirmation, and expectation.  The presence of our Lord’s love within us must be actualized in our personal awareness and outward expression.  “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).  We must frequently encourage and challenge ourselves and each other to acknowledge that the power to fulfill the most important reason for our existence - to love God - dwells nearer than our next breath.  Paul’s prayer for direction into such truth and reality serves as a prime example of how we also should intercede for each other and ourselves concerning our walk with the Lord.

    The final aspect of keeping ourselves in the love of God involves the environment of our hearts, as it were.  Again, we play a vital role in the matter of experiencing and expressing the fact of our Lord’s devotion to us.  We seek to do those things that make far more likely our remembrance of how greatly we are loved by God, and how greatly we are to love Him.  This involves our thinking, attitudes, habits, relationships, and ways of responding to life’s blessings and challenges.  “Does this make more likely my realization and experience of life in the reality of God’s love?  Or does it hinder such blessedness?”  Keeping these questions in heart and mind goes far in fulfilling our privileged responsibility to “keep yourselves in the love of God.”

    God provides His love unto and within us, and works to guide our hearts more and more into this greatest of all gifts.  We respond by seeking to maintain ourselves in that which makes likely our devoted response.  Such reciprocity in relationship honors our Lord, blesses His heart, and enlivens us to experience the abundance of life found only in living, conscious relationship with the Life of our lives…

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

Weekly Memory Verse
    Thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for Thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
(Psalm 31:3)

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