Read His Words Before Ours!
2 Peter 1:2-4
1 John 4:16-19
I’ve often heard the popular saying, “It is not the gift that matters, but the spirit behind it.”
While the giver’s intent is important, the gift itself often speaks volumes of the giver’s heart. Would we gift junk to someone dear to us?
No, love motivates us to give a precious gift to another.
Yet, our kind of love is imperfect. How we relate to and treat one another, how we love, is mostly dependent on their treatment of us.
But God’s love is not like ours; His love does not depend on our attitude.
He loves us irrespective of who we are, because He is love.
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
“There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)
“But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus demonstrated His great love when He submitted Himself to the will of His Father without reservation, by offering His life as a sacrifice for our sins. What a great love! Now, we who believe in Him are the product of that love.
Before Jesus returned to the Father, He said,
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth [. . .] I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.” (John 14:16-18)
The Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, just as Jesus promised, on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-4) We have also received the Holy Spirit when we put our faith in Christ!
The Holy Spirit is the gift of God’s presence in us, demonstrating His love for us.
Through His Spirit, He motivates and equips us to love one another, He comforts us in times of adversity, and fills us with joy even when we don’t have any physical reason to rejoice. He helps us love even our enemies, and enables us to persevere in trials.
I can testify to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit in me. When I encountered Jesus in my life, I began to learn of the depth of His love.
This hymn always reminds of His love; whenever I sing it, tears of joy roll down my cheeks.
“I am so glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the Book He has given,
Wonderful things in the Bible I see.
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.
I am so glad that Jesus loves,
Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me,
I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.”
This song reminds me of my character before my encounter with Jesus’ love. I can’t imagine why Jesus should love a person like me: a selfish, self-centered, self-righteous, unforgiving, and Mrs. Know-All person.
Yet He died for me and paid the full price for my sins.
When I was boasting in my emptiness, bragging of my good works,
He knew they wouldn’t save me.
He revealed Himself to me as the only way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) Only then did I begin to truly experience His love that goes far beyond our comprehension. Just as it is impossible to measure the quantity of water in the ocean, so is God’s love for us.
Wrapped in the embrace of His love, there was nothing left for me but to surrender my life to Him. I could not resist His compelling, motivating, magnetic love.
His love gave me peace I had never experienced before.
His love began cultivating the fruitfulness of His own character in me.
My life was transformed from one of self-indulgence and frustration to a life bubbling with joy.
I am certainly not perfect, but I am not who I was before I encountered Christ’s love.
By the grace of God, my story is different.
Glory be to God!
I do not count on my selfish love to see me through weighty grievances or serious offences, but rather on God’s own love which He poured in my heart through the Holy Spirit. (Romans 5:5) I am absolutely certain of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish what human ability cannot.
Considering this great, incomprehensible love of God, I conclude with the words of Apostle Paul,
“Who can separate us from the love of Christ? [. . .] For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 8:35a, 38-39)
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Thanks for joining us today as we journeyed into Fruitful Week One! Don’t miss out on the discussion below – we’d love to hear your thoughts!