The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Thanks to the Wheeler family for inspiration on this one)
"The Parallel Tracks of Love"
"I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!" (Psalm 18:1).
King David perfectly testifies to the relationship and fellowship of devotion that exists between God and the trusting heart. He wills to love the Lord, but in the recognition he requires his Lord's motivation, leading, and enabling. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul amplifies the consideration.
"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).
"And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God" (II Thessalonians 3:5).
"Keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 1:21).
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).
Only the God who "is love" can direct us into this primary characteristic of His being, first in leading us to salvation, and then in enabling our self sacrificial devotion to Him and to other people (I John 4:8). "Without Me ye can do nothing" declared the Lord Jesus to His disciples (John 15:5). This surely includes our ability to "walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2). We forever exist as dependent creatures who trust in a perfectly dependable Creator. We "live through Him" in all things, and thus we love through Him. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (I John 4:9; Philippians 4:13).
This being said, there remains a God-formed personhood within us wherein we freely will to love the One who supplies our strength for the journey. We are persons originally created in the image of God, and thus possessed with capacities for the relational reality that governs His triune nature. By Biblical definition, love must be personal rather than programmed. In John 17, the Lord Jesus defined eternal life in terms of knowing God (John 17:3). The original Greek root word for "know" in His explanation, "ginosko," suggests an involved, intimate fellowship that can only be experienced when both parties devote themselves to one another. "Come unto Me" our Lord beckons. "I will come" we respond (Jeremiah 33:3; Psalm 5:7). Only such a spiritual sensibility wherein we acknowledge both our utter dependence and the privileged responsibility of our determined response leads to a fellowship with God that has meaning for both Him and ourselves. "The Lord loveth the righteous… O love the Lord, all ye His saints!" (Psalm 146:8; 31:23).
A lifetime will not suffice in our fully understanding God's role and our role in our fellowship with Him through Christ, as empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit. We will forever give Him all glory and honor for our relationship with Him (I Corinthians 10:31). However, rewards and even praise await those who respond to His grace and truth (I Corinthians 3:14; 4:5). The parallel tracks of such devoted fellowship wind through His heart and ours as we freely "work out" that which He faithfully "works in." Full comprehension of such mystery lies far and forever beyond our grasp. The Spirit of God, however, offers growing reception and experience of our knowing the love of God, and then freely responding by His enabling. Again, "I will love Thee, o Lord my strength!"
"We love Him because He first loved us."
(I John 4:19)
Weekly Memory Verse
Let us have grace, that we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.