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Monday, December 19, 2016

The Law of Love.

"...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:19).

Paul had given much of his life defending the Law of Moses to the very letter of it. He was a pharisee of pharisees. To serve God, to love God, and to be loved by God depended on one's ability to maintain each line of the law to its fullest. When Paul's heart had undergone total renovation by his encounter on the road to Damascus, everything changed. He began to see the legalism of the law actually distracted him and others from seeing what God was really trying to show. Not that the Law was BAD, but that they had missed the point of it. They had missed the fact that Jesus had come to fulfill the Law in a manner that showed the world who God really was, and had always been. Love. "...and to know this love that surpasses knowledge..." is a challenge to others NOT to get lost in the details of the Law, but to see the intention of the Law.

The intent of the Law was to bring restoration to people who had lost sight of the love of God and to reconcile them to that love. There was no other, or greater, reason that Jesus came into this world than to be the bridge that closed the gap in the great divide between the created and the Creator. The intent of His entrance into the realm of humanity was never to abolish the Law, but to become the total fulfilment of it. He achieved the Law. He lived it to the letter. He accomplished everything there was to accomplish, yet in the process He established a "new" law, the Law of Love. Paul wrote to tell them it was not enough to do what the law required and miss the purpose of God. God is love. To be in authentic relationship with God, through Christ, one can't just keep rules, but receive love from God & render love to others.

Loving God means loving people. You can't claim authenticity as a believer in God and hold onto bitterness in regards to others. So many claim to love God but appear to exempt themselves from the law of love when it comes to "certain people." You have been called by the love of God, to receive and to be restored by the love of God, but also to render that love to all people. Loving people does not mean compromising standards of morality or conviction. BUT, not showing love to all people does compromise the integrity of your claimed love for God. Don't live your life focused on living out the rules of religion and fail to live the law of loving God and loving the people He created. 

Think of the people in your life or in this world that seem to be harder or impossible for you to love, or at least try to tolerate. God loves them in no less or more fashion than He loves you. With the same measure of love that took Jesus to the cross was the same for you as for those that seem difficult for you to love. Living the Law of God means living the law of love. Yes, it may seem difficult or impossible to do. Don't be intimated or overwhelmed by that fact. Love IS a fruit of the Spirit. That means that it is a superatural result of something that can only be achieved or received through abiding & dwelling IN Christ. You CAN NOT do this on your own merits. Cling to Jesus and choose to receive supernatural strength and power in Him to live out who He has called you to be. Remeber how the "Love chapter" in 1 Corinthians closes out. "These things remain. Faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love." 

Lord, I thank You for how you have loved me with a love that doesn't stop. At times when I've struggled loving myself, Your love has remained. Thank You for the strength of Your love that enables & empowers me to love others that have wronged me, that are different than me, or that are even against me. I know that I CAN do all things because of the relationship You have called me to IN You. Help me to know the power & discipline of living rooted in You. For out of THAT relationship comes the supernatural result of LOVE. It's THAT love that makes it possible to love others in like authenticity of Your love for me. Thank You Jesus. Please help me to live my life in a manner that lives loud Your love for others through my life. Thank You for all in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

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