"Our Calling Of Love"
"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men" (I Thessalonians 3:12).
Our Heavenly Father calls us not only to love, but to "increase and abound in love". Moreover, He mandates not only love for our fellow believers, but "toward all men". Thus, we set forth in this day on a journey of growing, abundant, and universal devotion to others, based upon the love of God - "and the Lord make you to increase and abound… toward all".
The New Testament illuminates our calling of love by first revealing the presence of God's winsome and holy character made resident in His trusting children in Christ. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). To love as our Lord loves requires His indwelling because "God is love" (I John 4:8). No one else possesses this innate character trait in and of themselves. If we love, we do so by Him and through Him as the grace of God in Christ grants to our hearts the greatest gift of all, the gift of Himself. "I will dwell in them" (II Corinthians 6:16).
Scripture then calls us to ask for experience of such wonder and enabling. "And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God" (II Thessalonians 3:5). We make request for each other and for ourselves that we will avail ourselves of the love which indwells us. The Holy Spirit seeks to guide believers unto an applied knowledge of the Divine nature of self sacrificial devotion to others - "Charity (love)… seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5). We play an active role in the outworking of such grace by the seeking of such grace, again, for each other and for ourselves. We offer no greater supplication and intercession than the request for direction into the love of God.
Finally, Jude commands that we "keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 1:21). The writer does not imply that we must somehow act to maintain God's love for us. That abides as fixed and forever - "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Jude rather calls us to active response to our Lord's devotion, and to the expectation that the love we receive will be the love we distribute. "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2). Our Heavenly Father graces us with the privileged responsibility of becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus in our character, attitude, demeanor, words, actions, and relatings to God and people. He works accordingly in us, and we accordingly anticipate countless moments of opportunity to absorb the light of Christ's love, and then to reflect it for the glory of God.
First, our Lord inhabits us with His love. We pray for direction into the wonder. We keep ourselves in the holy environment of our Lord's character by availing ourselves of His love. This triune calling offers to us the glory of experiencing the triune God. The Lord Jesus prayed for such a gift to be given, and the prayer is answered in us as we abide in the glory of this grace and goodness…
"Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And 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."
Weekly Memory Verse
We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
(II Corinthians 4:7