Thursday, September 21, 2017

“His Emphasis"

    "His Emphasis    

    Having been originally created in the image of the God who "is love," we would expect our existence to revolve around this central aspect of His character, nature, and way (I John 4:8).  It does.

   "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (I John 4:10).
   "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
   "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Matthew 22:38-39).
    "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2).

    The Apostle Paul accentuated the Biblical truth of love by declaring that even if we gave our body to be burned, but did not have love, we would be nothing (I Corinthians 13:3).  Thus, we must be ever mindful to keep our spiritual attention directed toward the love of God, our response of love to Him, and love for people as the inevitable fruit of genuine relationship with our Heavenly Father.  This requires that we define love according to His terms.  Our human conceptions are always faulty in both understanding and application.  Again, Paul declares that what might appear to be the ultimate sacrifice - giving our body to be burned - could be weighed in the Divine balances and found wanting.  If our devotion does not originate, continue, and culminate in the love of Christ, the somber truth is that carnal and even devilish motivations characterize seemingly noble acts of self sacrifice.  This casts us to our knees and faces in the admission of how desperately we require our Lord to reveal His love, empower our response, and lead us in genuine love for Him and others.  Indeed, the Christian life is not for the faint in heart, but rather for faith of the heart, the trust that God will change us into His genuinely loving image by the progressive work of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

   Human beings continually use the word "love" while having little understanding of the concept, and far less application.  The God who is love must illuminate us with the light of His character, nature, and way.  This constitutes the very heart of His involvement in our lives as God's grace and truth in Christ leads us in His spiritual and moral likeness.  This is His emphasis.  It must be ours as well.

"And now abideth faith, hope, and charity (love), these three.  But the greatest of these is charity."
(I Corinthians 13:13)
"And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment."
(Philippians 1:9)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
(II Peter 3:13)

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