"The Holy Trail"
One blessed aspect of humanity's original creation in the image of God involves not only His love for us, but also our capacity to love Him in response.
"We love Him because He first loved us" (I John 4:19).
Sin gravely damaged both the capacity and the inclination for loving our Lord, and for loving each other. Adam and Eve hid from God and from each other after they distrusted and disobeyed God (Genesis 3:7-8). Self protection, promotion, and preservation became the norm of human hearts rather than devotion to others. In and of ourselves, even our most loving moments are doubtless tainted by some form of the unholy trinity of "I, Me, and My." "No man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourisheth and cherisheth it" (Ephesians 5:29). Thus, we cannot redeem ourselves from the black hole of self interest that seeks to draw all things into itself rather than shine forth as a sun that reflects the light of God and thereby benefits others.
Through the Lord Jesus Christ, however, God resurrects and restores our capacity to love Him and people. "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). Our Lord's indwelling presence, leading, and enabling empower us to fulfill the two great commandments of devotion to God and others. We rejoice in being loved by our Heavenly Father, and will never get over the wonder of His devotion to us. However, since "it is more blessed to give than to receive," the greatest fulfillment afforded by God's love comes when it passes through us rather than to us (Acts 20:35). We best know love, His love, by our loving through the Holy Spirit's working in us to walk even as the Lord Jesus walked - "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).
A path of self-sacrifice lies before us in this day. Opportunities to travel its holy trail paved by the Lord Jesus will offer themselves in ways of which we are aware, and ways we cannot anticipate. The glory of God and the blessing of others awaits our determination to venture upon this path of grace and righteousness. The fulfillment of our own hearts also depends on our seeking the benefit of others. Born again believers are suns rather than black holes. We may not always live accordingly. Nevertheless, "now are ye light in the Lord" (Ephesians 5:8). The martyrs would all tell us that the greatest earthly joy they ever knew occurred when they gave all for their Lord and others. The joy of Christ in self sacrifice is now our joy as we remember the presence of His love in us, and thereby…
"Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and given Himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor."
Weekly Memory Verse
Reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.