"Our Path Of Love"
The two great commands of the Old Testament and the Gospels call us to "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).
After the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father enhanced the commands, based upon the risen Savior bestowing upon trusting believers the gift of the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit.
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
"In lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3).
The internal presence of the Son who so loves the Father makes possible our devotion to God in a manner infinitely beyond any love we could ever imagine or accomplish. The Holy Spirit reveals Christ in us for the first purpose of our loving the Father with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We may or may not experience the power of such grace in actuality, but the potential always exists in us to trust and submit ourselves to our Lord for His enabling of love. "Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" commanded the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 6:10). The first and most vital expression of such strength empowers us to love God in a measure and mode that originates in Christ rather than ourselves. His dedication must motivate and enable our own - "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). Thus, we "look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" as we look to fulfill the first purpose of loving God (Hebrews 12:2).
Through Christ, we also find ourselves able to love our neighbor in a manner far greater than "as thyself". In the scope of His grace in the Lord Jesus, God rather calls to the standard of "better than". He works in us to motivate and empower an attitude - His attitude - that the person and needs of others are more important than our own. Recall that the Christ who indwells us went so far as to sacrifice His very life on the cross of Calvary. "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). Consider also the countless martyrs of the church, many of them presently sacrificing their lives for God's glory and the blessing of others. This comprises an enhanced calling of love, again, based on the truth that salvation in the Lord Jesus provides the very love of God abundantly indwelling our hearts. Through Him, the power of God leads us to countless acts of self sacrifice as the Holy Spirit "worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).
God does not call His children to make bricks without straw. He rather equips us by inhabiting us, and then working in us to motivate, enable, and actualize the love of Christ. We play a vital role in the fulfillment of such grace as we look, trust, submit, and expect our Lord to lead us in devotion to God and others. He paved the way long ago in a world that desperately needs to see Him again. Yes, our path of love lies before us in this day. Through Christ, we can love God and we can love people through the power of the most wondrous gift imaginable…
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father."
"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him."
(I John 4:9)
Weekly Memory Verse
Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.