Thursday, August 14, 2014

”Lovers of God, Lovers of People"

   "Who can understand his errors?  Cleanse Thou me from secret faults" (Psalm 19:12).

    The only person more mysterious to us than God may be ourselves.  We do not and cannot know who we are our what we are apart from the light of His Word, as personally applied to our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

    Long ago in Eden, Adam plunged the human race into darkness regarding the eternal and internal realities that govern our very existence.  He hid from God in the trees of the garden that before provided food.  He hid from Eve by covering himself with the leaves of those same trees (Genesis 3:7-10).  In such flight from the relationships for which he existed, Adam lost himself in delusion and the denial of who and what he was.  His offspring are subsequently born in the same darkness, and thus possess no true self awareness until and unless the Spirit of Christ enters our hearts to redeem us from deception.

    Only God can reveal to us who we really are.  He does so by revealing to us who He really is.  "In Thy light shall we see light… This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent" (Psalm 36:9; John 17:3).  The illumination involves a process of discovery - "the path of the just is as the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18).  We begin life in the Light when we trust the Lord Jesus Christ.   His Spirit births a "new creature" enlivened and inhabited by God Himself Corinthians 5:17).  This spiritual neophyte, "created in righteousness and true holiness," comprises the very essence of our innermost being and selfhood (Ephesians 4:24).  We know little of such essence, however, at the outset of our relationship with God.  Growth must ensue, growth in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus that results in the proper knowledge of ourselves.  In His light, we see the light of who and what our Father created and birthed us to be, namely, His beloved children who exist to love Him and others in holy response to the grace and truth of Christ.  We increasingly come out of the trees of hiding from Him, as it were, and we subsequently relate to other people in loving relationship rather than alienation.

     The two great commands of Scripture tell us who we are by telling us what we are to do.  "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Mark 12:30-31).  Through Christ, we are lovers of God and lovers of people.  This reality of God and of ourselves as united with Him provides the foundation upon which we go forth to "walk in love" and to "walk in truth" (Ephesians 5:2; III John 1:4).  Mystery remains regarding the outworking of such truth, but the fact of it must be increasingly settled within our hearts by the Light in which we see light.

"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
(Romans 5:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
(Psalm 150:6)

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