Friday, July 3, 2015

"To Love"

     "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength" (Psalm 18:1).

     King David recognized that fulfilling the first and great command of Scripture involved not only the determination of "I will", but also the recognition of God's determination to provide "strength".  Only the presence of the God who "is love" can lead and enable human hearts to "walk in love" (I John 4:8; Ephesians 5:2).

    The Apostle Paul affirms and enhances this truth in the New Testament.  "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ births newness of life in all who believe, and most importantly, newness of love.  Our Savior's presence within us energizes our faculties with the Divine strength that makes Divine character and action possible.  "To live is Christ" wrote Paul to the Phillipians (Philippians 1:21).  To love is Christ constitutes the most important aspect of such grace, namely, to love God with all our "heart and soul and mind and strength" (Mark 12:30).  Thus, David's "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength" means far more to the Christ-inhabited believer than the king could ever have understood or imagined (Old Testament saints did not possess the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit because Christ had not yet made atonement for sin - John 7:39; 14:17).

    We must have great confidence in our capacity to love God and others, confidence not in ourselves, but in ourselves as enabled by the Holy Spirit.  Through Christ, we can love as God defines love (Philippians 4:13).  In response to His devotion to us, we affirm and confess the freely determined "I will love Thee", or as the Apostle John wrote, "We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).  We do so, however, in complete acknowledgement that every step of our journey must be empowered by the Spirit of the Christ who declared, "Without Me, ye can do nothing" (John 15:5).  Long ago, King David realized the shadows of such glory and grace.  Today, born again believers can walk in the bright sunlight of greater glory and grace as we make our free will determination to love God, and our free will determination to trust the Spirit of Christ as the power to fulfill - "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!"

"I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
(John 17:26)

Weekly Memory Verse
    All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.
(John 1:3)

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