Jonathan's Perspective  

May 29

'God of Love and Power'

God's very nature is the example, motivation, and power for us to experience a life that is truly life.  "God is love... God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 1:8, 12)  Love is not just one of the many characteristics of God, it is God's very essence.  Everything else flows out of that - his goodness, faithfulness, justice, and self-sacrifice.  Without love being at God's core, we would not experience the good and glorious life we can have in him.  So let us see how God works his love out in our lives.

First, God sets the standard for us, to give us the vision for where our journey of love should take us.  Jesus explains that our love should not be reserved for those who love us.  We must love as God loves, '...your Father who is in heaven causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good.  And the rain falls on the just and the unjust... Therefore, you must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.' (Mt 4:43f)  Does that seem like a crazy tall standard?  Well God demonstrates the standard for us in his self-sacrificing love he show to us. 'This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.' (1 John 4:9)  God does not call us to do anything that he, himself has not already done for us.

Second, God motivates us to love.  When we love as God loves us, we experience new life and gain a deeper knowledge of God.  "Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." (1 John 4:7)  I know that when I serve others, when I humble myself in caring for my family and colleagues, I gain more and more of an understanding of God's beautiful will to make my relationships whole.  Service is a sure way to draw closer to the heart of God, and to grow in experiential knowledge of his continually outpouring love.

Finally, God gives us the power to love beyond what we can in our own strength.  "God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 1:12)   I find this passage incredibly encouraging.  God doesn't simply forgive us then sit around waiting for us to mess up again.  God comes to live in us by the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and empower us to shape and increase our love for one another.  God gives us himself, living in us as our life coach and the strength to live beyond ourselves. Jesus uses a beautiful metaphor to help us understand this.  We, imperfect as we are, know how to give good gifts to our children.  "How much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?" (Lk 11:13)  Jesus' yoke is easy and his burden light because he carries it for us. 

Do you need the power of God in your life?  Have you stepped away from God saying, "Thanks God for your help, but I got this now"?  Whenever I do that I get in trouble in my life.  I can't live the life I want - let alone the life that God wants - without the Holy Spirit in my life.  When I remember that God is love and that he wants to make his love complete in me, I humble myself once more so that God will work in me the life that is truly life.  So I ask again, do you need the power of God in your life once again?  There is no time like the present to ask God for the Holy Spirit which he will freely pour out into your life.

Seeking Life that is Truly Life,

Jonathan

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