“God has poured out his love into our hearts
by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”
God great desire is that we should all be a people of love. And because God Himself ‘is love’ the main commandments point us in that direction.
- “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37)
- “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39)
- “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34)
- “Love your enemies” (Luke 6:35)
Paul goes on and teaches that without love nothing is achieved or of any value in the sight of God.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)
If we were completely honest with ourselves, one of our greatest desires and needs would be both to be loved and to be able to love, freely and openly. Yet as we look around us the one word that we would use to describe our society, nation or the international situation would not be anything like the word love. Clearly then the love which God is talking about is not natural to human beings in general or to the society that they create.
The only source of this love is, in fact, God Himself. He is prepared to share the love that is in Him with us –those whom He has in Christ adopted as His daughters and sons. It comes with and through the Holy Spirit whom He has given us. Note how Paul uses the word ‘poured’ to describe the process – not dribbled or dripped or rationed in any way, but POURED. The sense is of the recipient’s heart being absolutely soaked in the love of God – so much so that it leaks out into every part of their life and being.
John sums it up for us as He again says simply,
“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19)
Paul, having met and experienced this love for himself prayed that we too would know it for ourselves. It is a prayer that we could make our own.
“ And I pray that you, 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 you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19)
It is because we have been and are loved by God with this great, free, unmerited, unrestricted and unconditional love that we can begin to love Him and others in a similar way. Our first response, and our daily ongoing response, needs to be to ask God to pour, continue to pour and to keep on pouring this love of His into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. And, as He does so, we can then let it out towards others. We need to, and the world in which we live needs us to – for if we do not pass it on it dries up within us.
Ask for love and give love in faith – for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Love
Father please pour Your love into my heart by Your Holy Spirit. Help me to open myself to recognise and receive it and to begin to share it with others even now. Thank You Lord. Amen.