KEEP YOURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD

 

Yesterday I came across the verse, “Keep yourselves in the love of God,” (Jude 1:21) and I wondered, “How do I keep myself in God’s love?”

God’s love is constant and unchanging. Nothing can remove us from His love. What does this command mean then?

God directed my thoughts to the relationship between a husband and a wife. The husband loves the wife more than anyone on the earth, and she feels secure and safe with him. However, there are times, when they have misunderstandings, and her feeling of security quickly changes to insecurity. When this happens, she puts up a wall. She withdraws from his love rather than keeping herself in his love. The wall she puts up, prevents her from experiencing his love.

In the same way, we at times, try to take ourselves out of God’s love. He orchestrates situations in our lives to teach us divine truths. Sometimes these situations are very painful, and we begin to doubt the truth regarding His love. We put up a wall. His love for us hasn’t changed, but we don’t experience it.

For example, when fighting cancer, it racks our body with pain and rubs our emotions raw, it’s not easy to focus on God’s love for us. At such times, we may wonder if God even loves us at all! If He loves us so much, why doesn’t He say the word and remove our pain and heal our jangled emotions?

The characteristics of God’s power and authority appears large and His love seems small – like the smallest letters on an eyesight-testing chart.

Despite the toxic hate that surrounds us, we should master a mindset that keeps us experiencing His love. God did not have to circumstantially “prove” His love. We should learn how to tune into the loving whispers of God deep in our spirits. We should not let anything steal our sensing of God’s love, a love which is incredibly abundant.

There will be times when we wouldn’t understand God’s ways, but that does not mean His words are not true. These times only reveal our limited understandings of His ways.

Our walls toward God must come down and we should experience the warmth of His love.

BUT FAR FROM CHRIST

Imagine the scene.
The soldiers huddled in a circle,
Their eyes turned downward.
Casting lots for Christ’s possessions.
The criminal above them is forgotten.
Common soldiers witnessing
The world’s most uncommon event,
And they don’t even know it.
For them,
Jesus is just another criminal.
The cross is forgotten!

It makes me think of us.
The religious.
Every believer in the land.
The strict. The simple.
Upper church. Lower church.
“Spirit-filled”. Evangelical.
Are we so unlike these soldiers?
We, too, play games at the foot of the cross.
We compete for members.
We scramble for status.
Competition. Selfishness. Personal gain.
It’s all there.
So close to the cross,
Yet so far from the blood.

Constantly finding fault with others,
We act like common crapshooters
Huddled in groups
And fighting over silly opinions.
We split into little huddles
And then, God forbid,
We split again.
Another name.
Another doctrine.
Another denomination.
So close to the cross,
But so far from the Christ.

“That they all may be one”, Jesus prayed.
One. Not in groups.
But one in one.
One church. One faith. One Lord.
No denominations. No traditions.
Just Christ!

PRAYER OF DEDICATION

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Hear my prayer, O Lord;
Listen to my plea!
Answer me because
You are faithful and righteous.

I give my hands to do Your work
I give them willingly.
I give my feet to go Your way
I shall take cheerfully.
I give my eyes to see the world
In just the way You do.
I give my tongue to speak Your words
To spread Your mighty name.

Here I am before You,
Falling in love, seeking Your truth
You’re the only one,
That brings me to my knees.

I give my mind in every way
That You may think in me.
I give my spirit to You
That You may pray in me.
I give You my heart
That You may love in me.
I give You my whole self
That You may grow in me.

So it is You, Lord
Who live and work
And pray in me.
Amen…