Wednesday, May 10, 2017

two ways we experience God's love

We experience the love of God in two ways. 


1.   We behold the God of love (most clearly displayed in the past work of Christ for us) in our times of meditation and worship (private or corporate) 
2.   We live his love out i.e. when we live for the glory of God by our actions of loving others sacrificially as God loves us.

The former is the essence of the greatest commandment. The latter is the essence of the second which is like it.

Mat 22:36  "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one (Mark makes this statement of worship, whereas Matthew doesn't so I inserted it here between the quote from Matthew). 

37  And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38  This is the great and first commandment. 39  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 

Those who do the former (only meditate and gaze upon his beauty) without the latter become spiritually fat and lazy.

Those who attempt to do the latter (loving others sacrificially) without the former experience frustration and burn out. 

Though we experience God's love now by faith (i.e. in believing in his love demonstrated in Christ's work on our behalf), we also experience and participate in this love by acting in love toward others i.e. obedience. 

We must have both. The former fuels and drives the latter. The latter expresses/fulfills/ completes the former.

Some might argue, what about those times when God demonstrates his love through special provision in a given situation such as answers to prayer etc? If and when he does, he does so when we are advancing his kingdom and glory  i.e. living his love out to others, which is the second item above. If God were to bless us outside of this it would only strengthen self indulgence not a greater desire to pursue God for who he is, verses what he does. God then becomes a means to another end (i.e. a specific blessing for my exclusive benefit) and not the end himself. 

Mat 7:7  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 

Mat 7:11  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!  
Mat 18:19  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 

Mat 21:22  And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." 

Joh 14:13  Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. 

Joh 15:7  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

Joh 15:16  You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 

Joh 16:23  In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24  Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. 

Jas 4:2  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions


For a further discussion on the last point above click here

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Grace to you
Jim Deal