“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.
Scripture is filled with references to this 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 and yet to feel untouched by it. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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 best journey in the world!
Keep asking God to pour (more of) His love into your heart and to help you know and respond to it.
Lord I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen me with power through Your 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. Amen. (from Ephesians 3:16-19)