Appropriating God’s Love

Monday, September 25             

If we love others the way God loves us, the whole world would take notice.  Unfortunately, we can’t do that.  On two counts.  One, we’re not God; we’re not sinless as he is.  Even if we were sinless, we would not be able to love like God loves.  Two, we are still saddled with the sin nature, which keeps us from living up to our potential.  So when Jesus said we should love one another as God loves us, there has to be a little hyperbole in it.  But we can have the same kind of love that he has, which means that we can love God and others without putting ourselves first.  God has promised to renovate us.  He has freed us from the bondage of sin and opened the door to love God and love others in a way that wasn’t possible before.  This spiritual reconstruction process is empowered by God.  The indwelling Holy Spirit is constantly at work to make us more like Christ.  But it is not automatic.  It involves our input.  We need to make the effort to become righteous.  God does his part and we are encouraged all through the N. T. to do our part.  It’s a work in progress that will not be completed until we leave this life.  On the negative side,  it’s theoretically possible to live out a Christian life with little or no change.  God forbid!  The results are too crucial to ignore.  A cavalier attitude is not acceptable.  Becoming like Christ is too important.  Not only is our joy and satisfaction in life at stake, so is our productivity for the Lord.  Bearing fruit will not happen without becoming like Christ.  So we can never love the way God loves, but yet we can love the way God loves.  The difference is not in kind, but in degree.

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