Saturday, January 24, 2015

"The Daily Martyrdom"

    The measure of love, God's love as revealed, received, and returned, involves a simple evaluation and determination.  In love, the Lord Jesus Christ died for us.  In reciprocal love, we die for Him.

    "Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8).
    "I die daily" (I Corinthians 15:31).
    "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).

    The death the Lord Jesus died for us becomes the death He dies in us as we make the sacrifices of faith whereby we walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh.  "Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body" (II Corinthians 4:10).  A "death" occurs every time we trust and obey God in the power of the Holy Spirit, as referenced by the Apostle Paul's testimony of "daily" offerings.  As the New Testament commands, through the Spirit, we "mortify" (put to death) fleshly pleasure and satisfaction in order to honor and please our Heavenly Father (Romans 8:13).  This is love in its truest sense, the love that led Christ to bear His cross, and the daily martyrdom of love that leads us to bear our own.  "Take up the cross, and follow Me" (Mark 10:21).

    Our sacrifice may involve attitudes, words, actions, possessions, and ways of relating to God and man.  It might even involve our physical life at some point.  Whatever the case, the Lord's love revealed and received always constitutes the cross.  Moreover, resurrection also awaits as the deepest and purest joy imaginable arises within our hearts.  To be loved by God and to love Him in trusting and holy response - we were made for this.  Through the Lord Jesus, our Father establishes and enables our spiritual capacity for such relationship wherein no sacrifice is too great so long as we know and respond to the love of God.

"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."
(Ephesians 5:2)
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us."
(Romans 5:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Come ye and let us walk in the light of the Lord.
(Isaiah 2:5)

No comments: