Friday, March 9, 2018

"No Greater Gift"

"No Greater Gift"

        Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are called to distribute to others the grace we freely receive in our Savior.

       "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God" (Romans 15:7).
      "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2).

      Upon first consideration, this seems impossible.  To receive and to love as did the Lord Jesus?  Our native human tendencies seem to flow in such a different direction, particularly when we consider those who hurt or offend us, or who seem distasteful to us.  However, we must remember and affirm that the reception of God's love for us when we believed was accompanied by the wondrous gift of God's love imparted unto and within us.

     "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).

    Christians love as a matter of grace, again, of grace received and then distributed.  We love not by our own determination or devices, but rather by the Holy Spirit's motivation, guidance, and enabling.  Our calling involves trust, submission, and expectation.  We choose to believe that Christ lives in us no less than He died for us.  Thereby we submit ourselves to His involved presence in our hearts, acknowledging and yielding to our calling to love God and people.  We then expect the Lord to faithfully reveal His love in us by empowering our attitudes, words, actions, and willingness for self sacrifice.  "Freely ye have received, freely give" commanded the Lord Jesus of His disciples (Matthew 10:8).  The mandate proceeds to us, accompanied by the promise of grace, "the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with the grace and love which is in Christ Jesus" (I Timothy 1:14).

    It would be a cruel hoax for our Heavenly Father to command His children to love as He loves apart from His imparting the capacity to do so.  He does not call us to make bricks without straw.  Thus, believers rejoice that God most loves us by dwelling within us through the Holy Spirit.  By Him, we love God and others as we trust, submit, and expect our Lord to faithfully reveal His character in us.  We will not be perfect in this lifetime, but we can grow in the grace and knowledge of the Christ whose salvation of love comes to us with the indwelling presence of God's love.  He could give no greater gift than the wonder of blessedness whereby we discover that loving is far greater than being loved…

"It is more blessed to give than to receive."
(Acts 20:35)
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
(Philippians 4:13)

Weekly Memory Verse
    If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified.
 (I Peter 4:14)

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