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** To know God is to love
** 1 John 4:8
** “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
The world is full of envy, jealousy and hatred. But God is love; and to know God means we are to truly know, experience and express the love of Christ who abides in us and us in Him.
1 Corinthians 13 paints a clear picture of this love which can only be found in Christ Jesus. It says that love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. It also says that “Love never fails”, because Jesus can never and will never fail; he has won the battle, He is forever victorious; and His spirit abides in us!
So, is the true love of Christ evident in each one of our lives every day? Is it evident in our marriages, in our homes, in our local assembly and in our workplace and social circles? Sadly, many times the answer to this is no. We see broken marriages, broken homes, judging, bickering and gossipping in the church, and people acting very differently in the workplace and social circles to how they are on a Sunday morning.
One of the biggest hurdles to experiencing the true love God is ourselves. We are often our own worst enemy when it comes to experiencing and showing the true love of God. Many times we are unhappy with how we look, where we live, what job we have, what car we drive or that we don’t get the lucky breaks or get to be important, well known, or well respected.
You see, knowing the true love of God is not about what we are in this world, but about accepting that God has made us to be who we are for His purpose, and made us His own children. Through His Son, we are made a temple for the very living spirit of God. Is this not just the greatest honour, privilege and calling? Is this not higher and more than anything this world has to offer?
So today, will we accept who we are in Christ Jesus? Will we be happy with who God has made us and with how we look? Will we be happy with where God has placed in this life to be His witnesses? And will we be happy that the true love of God actually abides in us and is not reliant on any external stimuli but only on surrendering our all to experience Christ in us, our hope of glory, that is, true love.
Additional scriptures for reading:
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
18 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
22 Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God;
23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
This ODAAT daily devotion written by Gareth Hosking
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