GOD IS LOVE
“I have been crucified with Christ;
it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;
and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave Himself for me”
Religion tends to deal with generalities, teachings and concepts. The Truth, that living truth, must be personal for it to be powerful. It is one thing to know that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world but it is another thing altogether to know that HE died for me PERSONALLY! The power of knowing deep down within the core of one’s heart that Jesus loves and gave himself for ME is the point at which men and women are transformed; from religious adherence to a doctrine to a life of knowing HIM on an intimate spiritual level. That personal sense of belonging to HIM can only be experienced to the depth that we know this fundamental living truth. Paul saw himself as a purchased possession. In almost every Epistle he describes himself, not as a child of God, but as a δοῦλος, a bond slave, one whose will and life belongs to another.
“For ye are bought with a price:
therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God’s”
1 CORINTHIANS 6:20
Without that sense of being HIS, men build their own kingdoms, propagate their own ministries and agendas, and every man is left to his own ways and decisions. The Church of Jesus Christ has known much suffering and grief as a result of the chaos and carnality of men’s ambitions.
This security of being HIS produces a quiet peace in knowing that I am no longer left to my own resources or stratagems. I am no longer required to produce any works of my own (although faith without works is dead); I am now only responsible to do the will of HIM who loved me and gave HIMSELF for ME. It is to HIM and HIM alone that I must give an account. The simplicity of such a life makes HIS burden light as we learn to walk in the YOKE OF CHRIST. This frees us from the voices of men and the “laws” of religion. I have one LORD, one SHEPHERD, and one KING and it is HIS bidding that I must obey. The greater the sense of HIS OWNERSHIP the less is the grip I have on my own life. The living truth of HIS LORDSHIP must produce a life that “now lives” by faith. This can only be realized by being in relationship with HIM who so loved me that HE gave Himself over on MY BEHALF. The call to the radical life of a disciple is not based on a religious law; it is rather the response of a heart that has touched the wonder of such unmerited love. This is a love that captivates the heart of the true believer and because of HIS love yields itself to HIM. For love is the only basis for true obedience. It is the one thing that can hold a man to the cross of Christ. We read in Hebrews chapter eleven…
“By faith Moses, when he became of age,
refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God
than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt;
for he looked to the reward”
The love of God that loved ME while I was yet a sinner, lost in the darkness of this present world, bent on doing evil, unable and unwilling to change my ways, is the same love that holds me, teaches me and keeps me on a daily basis. How could we help but love Him?