October 17, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:8, 13
True Christianity is distinguished from all other religions as a building is from the scaffold that was used to build it. God's love, mercy, and grace are the underpinning that support all of its principles and truth. True Christian love permeates our heart and challenges us to conform our life to God's Word and its teaching. As faith, hope, and love are described..."the greatest of all, is love."
It is commendable to embrace many of the virtues of Christ and be involved in the outreach of the church. Our great concern should be that our motivation is from true godly love...a love that finds its expression in meekness, benevolence, forbearance, forgiveness, and a heart that has deep compassion for the object of our involvement. If love is the greatest of the virtues, then it is imperative that HIS LOVE be freely and fully manifested through us to all. We must remember that our love to God springs from, and is founded on God's love To us.
If God is love, and we are His, by virtue of our faith in the atoning death of Christ, then we should not only love Him, but trust Him, serve Him, submit to Him, and be the "channel" through which His love flows to all we encounter. Our conformity to God, in this great character of love, will be the measure of our nearness to Him, and our confidence in Him.
Paul said, "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly beloved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:1-2). Our lives are to reflect the loving virtues and sterling character of Christ in every phase of our life. God's love within our hearts should respond freely through us, and be the natural reaction in all of our confrontations. This is not "our" doing, but the result of living and abiding in an intimate relationship with Him. Only when we grow in grace and "mature in our walk with the Lord" will we have a spiritually natural, and immediate response to the occasions of ministry God opens to us.
This is His love in action. So ingrained should be the love of God in our hearts that we will respond in compassion, care, and concern, and come alongside those in need. We are a "channel" through which His love flows to the needs of others. How necessary it is for us to have a clean heart and a pure spirit, so there will not be any hindrances to the working of His grace.
His love to us is inexhaustible. In our marital love, we make every effort to cultivate and maintain our love for each other, so must we cultivate our love for God through discipline. Devotion demands commitment, and commitment demands discipline. But the surrender to God of our will, our heart, and our life, is to the ONE whose LOVE NEVER FAILS!
God forbid that we should harbor so great a love to the confines of our own life. Someone wisely said, "We only keep what we give away." As we abide in Him, drawing daily from the "eternal spring of His love," let us share it freely with others. There are so many whose lives are empty who have never known the blessing of sins forgiven and God's abiding peace and presence.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another...even as I have loved you" (John 15:12).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-17
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