Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"The Emphasis"

"The Emphasis"

     Left to ourselves,  human beings perform worst at that for which God made us.

    "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" (Genesis 1:26).

    Note the plural pronouns used by God regarding Himself: "Us… Our… Our."  Obviously, a relational Being created us with the capacity for relationship.  Bible-believing Christians know this Creator to be God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one Divinity existing in three distinct Persons.  He… They… relate to one another, as we see in Their communication regarding the creation of Adam and Eve.  Made in God's image, human beings are also relational, with God and with each other.  However, our capacity for relationship must be enlivened and enabled by our Lord's involved presence.  "God is love," that is, our Lord innately relates to others in the perfection of devotion, commitment, affection, and communication (I John 4:8).  Human beings exist to serve as the conscious, willing vessels of such glorious Presence.  However, the entrance of sin through Adam and Eve passed down through all their progeny - "in Adam all die" - gravely affecting our abilities to relate to God and each other (I Corinthians 15:22).  We are born in alienation from our Creator.  The separation between He and ourselves extends to the challenges we face in relating to each other.  Thus, we were made for relationship with God and people, but left to ourselves, this constitutes our greatest weakness.

    Through the Lord Jesus Christ, God births us into relationship with Himself, and with "the whole family in Heaven and earth" (Ephesians 3:15).  He also lavishly imparts His love into our hearts through the entrance of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).  We become capable of loving as God loves, and in accordance with His Biblically defined standard.  The matter involves a process, including the growing knowledge of God's love, our experience thereof, and our loving others as the fruit of the Holy Spirit's presence of love in us.  "And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment" (Philippians 1:9).  However, we also still possess the possibility of walking in alienation from God and others.  "The spirit lusteth against the flesh" (Galatians 5:17).  Thus, we must realize how powerfully equipped we are to love through Christ, but also recognize that we may significantly fail to do so.  

    We must join our Lord in emphasizing relationship as the primary reason for our existence.  The first two commands of Scripture call us to love God and others (Mark 12:30).  The relational God made and redeemed us to be His relational sons and daughters.  Any lesser goal or emphasis indicates failure to walk in truth and reality.  Through Christ, we possess great potential regarding relationship with both the Divine and the human.  We also possess the fleshly potential to ignore, neglect, or reject such glory.  Realizing both possibilities prepares us for living and growing experience of the former, and decisiveness overcoming of the latter.  Nothing in our lives compares with this holy calling to relate in love to God and people.  Nothing.  Moreover, everything in our lives serves to provide opportunity for devotion to others.  Everything.  "To live is Christ" declared the Apostle Paul, that is, life involves the relational God dwelling within us for the purpose of enabling the same quality and experience of existence He eternally knows, experiences, and enjoys (Philipipians 1:21).  This is life, as constituted in God, and created by God.  This is the emphasis, His emphasis.  It must also be ours.

"Love God… Love one another."
(Mark 12:30; John 15:12)

Weekly Memory Verse
    For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous.  But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalm 1:6)


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