Friday, February 13, 2009

Allowing God to Love through Us

Apart from Jesus, we can do nothing (John 15:5). However, we can do all God-ordained things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). This is especially true when it comes to loving others.

We mustn't let Valentine's Day fool us. As Christians, love isn't chocolate, stuffed animals, candy hearts, going out to eat, Hallmark cards that play Captain and Tennille songs, or perfume (although those things are romantic and God is okay with romance!) But for believers, love is obedience to God through a relationship with His son and the power of the Holy Spirit.

When we can't love, God can--through us. When we want to see love only in romantic terms, God shows us His agape love for all mankind. When we expect love from others but don't give it, God convicts us. When we don't know how to love strangers, acquaintances, family members or friends, God calls us to prayer and His Word. God teaches us how to love. His love for us when we were yet sinners, and His love for us as we are yet sinners, is the model. Pastor and radio teacher Charles Stanley recently said that our motivation to love comes from God's love for us.

Where is God calling us to love? Is it to the un-saved person in the office? The neighbor whose house is in foreclosure? A distant land of physical and spiritual hunger and thirst? To daily time in His Word? Is God calling us to repentance, apology and forgiveness? To reconciliation or re-connection with our teen? To patience with our toddler? To our marriage? To intercessory prayer? To accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior? Where is God calling each one of us to bring alive His abiding love?

"If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever--the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." John 14:15-21

"Jesus replied, 'If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." John 14:23-24

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." John 15:9-12

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, 'Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?' And I said, 'Here am I. Send me!'" Isaiah 6:8

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