CHRISTIAN LIFE & GROWTH
By Scott Larrison
First, let me say that the love of God is tough to fully comprehend because God is love (1 John 4:8)! The Scriptures tell us that God has chosen to first love us (1 John 4:10-11, 19). Paul wrote, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). While we were enemies of God without any concern for Him at all, turning our backs on Him like sheep who have gone astray, God sent Jesus who willingly chose to be the sacrifice for our sins (Isaiah 53:6). This is the ultimate demonstration of the sacrificial love of God. John echoed this definition of love, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:10-11).
But how do we tap into this kind of loving? Simply put, we fellowship with God and His love as a way of life. We immerse ourselves in Him. We allow God to dominate our thoughts, our actions, our words and our whole being. We walk with Jesus on a daily basis just as His disciples did during the three years they did ministry with Him and beyond through the Holy Spirit after His resurrection.
As we get to know our Lord intimately, His love and character will start to rub off on us and be the driving force in who we are as His children. This is the process known as sanctification. The Holy Spirit is at work within us to conform us to the image of Jesus. It's a lifelong process, but truly a labor of love and fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Paul wrote the Philippians, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). As we offer up our bodies to God as living sacrifices, working out our faith in Him, He will transform us into the sons and daughters of God He intended for us to be before sin got in the way (Romans 12:1-2, Hebrews 12:1-2, Ephesians 2:10).
God has graciously given us everything we need for spiritual growth and maturity. His word is truth and truly the roadmap for life (Psalm 119:105). His word is our daily bread for spiritual life. Not only that, but we have 24/7 prayer access to God our Father in the name of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit! Finally, God has allowed us to be part of His family, His church. We have the opportunity to fellowship with His brothers and sisters in the faith sharing life and doing ministry together. We are not alone and never alone (Hebrews 13:5)!
As you get to know the love of God through fellowship with Him, that love will be demonstrated to others as well. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). This is not something that should be forced. As the love of God transforms us, it will become a part of who we really are, and others will see the genuine love of God in us. Therefore, the measure to which we draw near to God and abide in Him will be the measure that we embody Him and His love throughout our short lifespan here on planet earth.
God bless you and may your passion for Jesus and His love be kindled and an abiding presence to the glory of God!
Image Credit: Cindee Snider Re; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life | God-Father
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Published on 7-26-12