…”for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” –Jesus, Luke 19:10
For God so loved the world, He gave.
Gave Himself, gave love.
There is no condemnation in Christ.
He who knew no sin, became sin.
Became my sin.
The sin I can’t undo.
The sin I can’t make right.
The sin I can’t erase.
The sin that wages war with my soul.
Kill, steal, destroy.
When I confess, He is faithful.
Faithful to forgive, faithful to forget.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed transgressions and remembers my sin no more.
The Lord is compassionate and gracious.
Slow to anger.
Abounding in love.
Love that is patient and kind.
Love that keeps no record of wrongs.
Love that never fails.
He is the rock who never moves.
He always loves first.
“Neither will I condemn you.”
- Woman at the well.
- The rich one who walked away.
- A dying thief.
“A new command I give you; Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” –Jesus, James 13:34
Not by political party.
Not by race or religion.
Love as He loves, do as He does.
His love bends and breaks, makes room.
Room for the adulterer and thief.
Room for the leper and lame.
“By this all will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” –Jesus, John 13:35
Truth and love.
Grace and mercy.
Jesus wasn’t a wimp.
He cared not for public opinion.
Overturned temple tables.
Didn’t follow His own agenda – only the Father’s will.
Faithful in prayer.
Never a sin committed.
He lived the life I could never live to pay the price I could never pay.
Disconnected vine withers and dies.
Produces no fruit.
No longer do I live, but Christ in me.
To love like Him requires death.
Death to self.
Death to “I think, I want, I feel”.
Death to my agenda and how I think others should live or believe.
To remain in love is to remain in Christ.
Vine connected to branch.
Following His will, not mine.
Learning to think and pray His Word.
Letting go of all that hinders me.
Developing eternal perspective.
This world is a sinking ship and the only lifeboat is Jesus Christ.
Loving others is sharing truth.
Choosing the things of God over the things and current of this world.
Culture, media, music is a rip tide.
Pulls you far from living water.
We battle not against flesh and blood.
Frogs in the pot.
Turn from the tempter’s temptation.
- This world is all there is.
- God understands.
- You can be Christian and of the world.
- You can be Christian without cost.
Many in the church will perish.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to Me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” Hosea 4:6
We invent and worship a God we can live with.
A God of our imagination.
A God that doesn’t exist.
A confession that doesn’t cost.
Whoever finds their life will lose it.
“If you love Me, you will do as I command.”
- Love your enemies.
- Forgive seventy times seven.
- Bless those who curse.
What I do demonstrates what I believe.
Following becomes harder when I allow a steady stream of the world’s programming.
- “Follow your heart”
- “Me time”
- “We only have this one life, do what you need to do to be happy.”
- “Live your best life now.”
Deception and lies.
Eagerly he asks, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
His resume is impressive.
He’s the young man every mother brags about.
The up and coming.
The guy with integrity.
Jesus knows his heart.
“You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.”
The young man’s pulse quickens.
There’s never been a test he couldn’t pass.
“Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
Inwardly he waits for the praise and assurance he is good with God.
The accolades for his accomplishments and conduct.
Jesus looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow Me.”
Jesus lays out the thing.
That one thing.
The one thing the young man hangs his heart on.
His future and social standing.
Jesus knows it’s his god, the thing he treasures and serves.
His worldly security and position.
Jesus calls it out, calls him to lay it down and issues an invitation.
“Come, follow Me.”
It’s the same invitation issued to me with the same conditions.
Lay down your ideas, your plans, your desires, anything that takes my place as Lord in your heart and life, then come, follow Me.
It isn’t easy – it isn’t supposed to be.
To love as He loves means to sacrifice as He sacrificed.
To live for Him means I die with Him.
Crucify the idols in my life and heart.
Know I can never make the mark no matter how good my efforts.
Put all my hope in a Jewish Carpenter that lived and died over 2,000 years ago.
The God-man Jesus.
The Christ and Savior of the world.
When I believe with my whole heart He is who He says He is, that pearl of great price, I gladly pay the price.
Put down everything that hinders and keeps me from God
Pick up my cross, the one crafted just for me.
Live like He lives.
Do what He did.
Always love first.
Father God, Lord, Master, King Jesus,
Thank you. Thank you for living the life I could never live to pay the price for my sin. Forgive me for the ways I fall short. For what I call love that isn’t love at all but an attempt to get what I need apart from You. Teach me to love like You do. Thank you for Your grace and mercy – for Your compassion and forgiveness when I get it so wrong.
You never condemn but love, teach and guide me. Thank you for Your faithfulness and for never giving up on me.
I choose You Jesus. To live for and follow You. To never stop giving up what You reveal needs to go. To go ever deeper into Your love, truth and ways. I will never be perfect this side of eternity but because of You, I’m still declared righteous.
Thank You Jesus. Help me to love first. I love You, King Jesus, I love You, Father God, I love you, Holy Spirit. In Your Precious, Matchless Name I pray, Amen.