“God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
Everything that God gives us, some of which we have looked at this week, comes to us from, and because of, the love of God. They are only possible, and they have significance only, because of His love. Indeed, He told us through Paul that without love nothing has any value in His eyes. (1Cor 13:1-3) He does not live to a lesser truth Himself. We are, therefore, to see them as revelations of His love.
Scripture is filled with references to the love of God, and talks often of His ‘unfailing love.’ Jesus Christ is held up as the revelation of the full extent of that love – “for God so loved the world.” However, it is still possible for us to see His love as a written word, a spoken word, a magnificent sacrifice, and even to acknowledge it sincerely with our minds –and yet to be untouched by it within. It is like something that we can see on the other side of a window but cannot reach. It is there, but somehow beyond our grasp and experience.
And so, to make it possible for us to know, receive, experience and live in that love, God pours it into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has sent to live within His people. Like rain onto a dry land, or water onto a hardened sponge, God intention is that it be received and absorbed within, there to make a difference and bring transformation. We need to receive the gift of that love personally. It is no coincidence, therefore, that the first segment of the fruit of the Spirit is… love!
All the commands which we receive from Jesus are to do with love. Love God with every fibre of your being, love your neighbour as yourself, love one another as I have loved you, and love your enemy. These become just another set of laws unless something happens to change us – and it does. Through this wonderful gift revealed in Jesus, and made personal through the Spirit, God’s love begins to transform us into people for whom these things become natural – a part of our new nature – in an increasing way.
If God’s desire and purpose is to transform us with the reality and awareness of His love, and if He is intent on this ‘pouring’ into us – then how do we receive it? It does not come like an invasive tsunami, destroying everything in its path. It grows with the increasing intimacy of relationship, so that we can know, treasure and adjust to its ever deepening reality and strength. It is rather like the first coming of Jesus – not as an all-conquering power, but quietly as a child, who grew to be a man, who turned out to be our Saviour, and is revealed as our God. It comes with a power and pace that we can ‘handle.’ We might think that it is slow, but in the end ‘oaks last longer, and are greater and stronger, than daffodils.’
The pace of the relationship is, in many ways, controlled by us. The closer that we draw to Him, the closer He is enabled to draw to us. The more that we walk in His Way, the more we open ourselves to His love. The more we trust Him, and entrust ourselves to Him, the more we invite and allow Him to give Himself, and of Himself, to us. It is really a journey – and the greatest journey in the world!
Accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour, Soak in His Word, Walk in His Way and Talk to Him constantly – as you do, He will lead you deeper into the Truth and into the wonder of Life. This is the Way of Love.
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen (me) with power through his Spirit in (my) inner being, so that Christ may dwell in (my) heart through faith. And I pray that (I), being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that (I) may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3:16-19)