If the Gospel's primary message communicated God's love for us rather than His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, believing the message would leave us just as self-centered as we were before our conversion (possibly more). Divine love, however, exists as the pristinely pure perfection of complete unselfishness. "Charity (love) seeketh not her own" (I Corinthians 13:5). The reception of grace in the Lord Jesus must therefore redeem us from our self-devotion unto the sublime beauty of God's commitment to the blessing of others.
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (Ephesians 5:2).
We have no personal frame of reference - yet - for the wonder of absolute unselfishness. We do not yet perfectly know our Lord as He is, nor do we perfectly respond to His motivation and enabling of love in us. One day we will, as glorification for born again believers ultimately redeems us from every trace of devilish and fleshly devotion to ourselves. For now, we seek to grow in the grace of God's love known, received, and assimilated in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit. As the Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians, "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment" (Philippians 1:9). This involves our primary focus on the love of God as it exists in God. Again, it is more important to know that God loves His Son the Lord Jesus than it is to know that He loves us. Such a journey into the Divine heart leads us into our Lord's reality and away from the dark unreality of our fleshly self centeredness. We discover His love for us along the way, in far greater measure and truth. However, we realize and respond to the reality that the true knowledge of ourselves begins with the knowledge of God. Our salvation began by believing that Jesus is the Son of God. It continues and grows as we increasingly realize that God's eternal purpose involves the exaltation and revelation of the Son He loves.
The practical expression of such truth involves joining our Heavenly Father in His devotion to the Lord Jesus, as He motivates and enables us by the Holy Spirit. His "Beloved Son" must more and more become our Beloved Savior (Matthew 3:17). God the Father's first purpose is to exalt Christ. As we make this our first purpose, we find ourselves drawn into the eternally ancient love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus prayed for us to know this, and then died and rose again to make answer to the prayer possible. This is truth, this is reality, this is essence, this is life, and this is love. We close with our Savior's intercession, and the Apostle Paul's affirmation of its fulfillment…
"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."
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us."
Weekly Memory Verse (an easy one this week! But vital.)
To live is Christ.