“keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
– Jude 1:21 NKJV
“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion,
As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
When your fathers tested Me;
They tried Me, though they saw My work.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation,
And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts,
And they do not know My ways.’
So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”
Psalms 95:8-11 NKJV
[We were once in the wilderness, a part of the rebellion, an enemy of God – interested in our own ways and desires and not His.]
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 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.
I John 4:7-10 NKJV
[God loves us. In fact, this is our ONLY hope, that God loves us, because we have proven to ourselves and to others many times in our actions and our words that we are imperfect, flawed sinners. It is only through His love, His sacrifice that we find salvation, that we learn love.]
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
– Psalms 95:1-2,6 NKJV
[Our response to His love, to His mercy towards a people undeserving of His love is grattitude, is thanksgiving, is praise. Praise not just in occassional religious ceremonies, but in our daily lives, even moment to moment throughout our day.]
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.
I John 4:11-16, 20-21 NKJV
[Yes, He teaches us love through His life, through His Word, and through His Holy Spirit that lives within us believers. And our purpose is to demonstrate this love, to testify to this love, by accepting it and pouring it out onto those around us. We are called – yes, we are even commanded – to Love God, and to Love others. And this isn’t a burden, but a blessing.]
Lord God, plunge me into your love so that I can love you with all that I am. I know that I’m asking you for the very thing I’ll give right back to you, but my heart feels small and shrunken; I struggle to live you well or even love at all. Immerse me in your love so that my heart, soul, strength, and might find their true home, and I will find the room in my heart to love my neighbor. Amen. (WSC 42)