After learning yesterday that we are incapable of loving without the help of God loving through us, we must now address our hearts.
1 John 4:7-8 “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
For those who do not yet have Jesus living in their hearts, let me encourage you to consider making that choice now. I Corinthians 6:2 says “I tell you that the “right time” is now. The “day of salvation” is now.”
For those who have made a decision to follow Christ, but may have stopped following intently, let me encourage you with these words: Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Because we cannot on our own ever be good enough to stand before a holy God, He has provided a way for us to be cleansed from all of our sins and to stand before Him holy and righteous.
Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
1 John 4:9 “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.”
Philippians 2:6-8 “Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!”
1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
Love like this cannot be fully understood.
Romans 5:7-8 “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Nor can this love be earned.
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
But it must be received.
Romans 10:9-10 “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
All of this means we are now able to love our spouse when they don’t love us back. We can love them despite seeing all of their flaws and imperfections. We are in fact instruments of God to meet their needs and to extend grace to them in the midst of their sin.
1 John 3:16, 23 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.”
1 John 4:8 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
CHALLENGE: Dare to take God at His word. Dare to trust Jesus for salvation. Dare to pray, “Lord Jesus, I’m a sinner. But You have shown Your love for me by dying to forgive my sins, and You have proven Your power to save me from death by Your resurrection. Lord, change my heart, and save me by Your grace.”