Planted and Built on Love
“May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.”
Ephesians 3:17-18 (NLT)
In his book, “Man of Prayer”, Frank Laubach tells us; “We have a thermometer by which we may now judge our likeness to Jesus; this thermometer is the heat of our compassion and the wideness of our love, when we become perfectly Christ-like we shall search every face for an opportunity to help and help all day long.”
I suspect that most Christians can quote John 3:16 by heart but what about 1 John 3:16? It says, “This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, not just be out for ourselves” (The Message).
This of course is impossible for us in our own strength. We need to be planted deep into the love of God and be drawing daily upon his strength through the Spirit. Jesus was aglow with love—he was surrounded by an aura of the Father’s love which clothed him like a garment as he drew on the resources made available to him by the indwelling of God.
If we look at the life of Jesus we will come to realise that love involves the complete sacrifice of self—our old man has to die and the new man (Jesus), has to fill our every waking moment! Paul writes this very powerfully in Galatians 2:20 (Williams version, italics mine) as he tells us about his new identity—“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live; Christ lives in me; the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Notice how he claims the sacrifice of Jesus for himself: this is personal for him and should be for every one of us.
As Christ himself said to his disciples during one discussion; “Things that are impossible with men are possible with God” (Luke 18:27 Williams). Only God can grant us the power to understand his love for us and the more we understand his love for us the more we will love him in return, and of course our neighbours as ourselves. The apostle John writes in his first letter, 1 John 4:16- 17 (NLT), “God is love, and all who live in love live in God and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.” Let’s allow the great God to develop and perfect his love in us every day!
Great God of love, tenderness and mercy, mould us, shape us each day as we live in you and cause your amazing love to shine out from us as a bright beacon encircling everyone we meet.
Study by Cliff Neill
Grace Communion Church Luton
Farley Hill Methodist Church
North Drift Way
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