Last night at our church our pastor began a study on the Book of Jude. Brother Dennis was recalling when they were expecting their second child and he wondered whether he could love the second one as much as he loved his first. He was addressing the benediction found in verse 2:
â€œMercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.â€ (Jude 2)
Recalling how God poured more love into his life towards his new daughter, Dennis said, â€œOur love doesnâ€™t have to be divided.â€ What a wonderful truth to embrace!
We can love as many people as God puts into our lives with equal passion and persistence. We can love because God first loved us. So how do we accomplish this? We do so by maintaining our love affair with God through Jesus Christ:
â€œKeep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.â€ (Jude 21)
Loving God is not a natural tendency. For that matter, loving people doesnâ€™t always come naturally. We naturally love ourselves, which isnâ€™t necessarily a bad thing if done as outlined in Scripture. However, loving God first and foremost is of the utmost importance. When asked about the most important commandment, Jesus referred back to the Old Testament:
â€œYou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.â€ (Deuteronomy 6:5)
Maintaining my life with God must be the object of my utmost attention and effort. I have to work hard to not allow the workaday world interfere with my devotion to God. I can actually make those days great when my focus is on Christ.
The days in which we live our indeed dark, that is why Jesus called us to be light. These days are also contaminated and corrupted; that is why we are called to be salt. If this nation is going to be saved, it wonâ€™t be the government, a political party, or one man or woman that makes it happen.
Only revival can save America. Revival comes not to the dead but to the once living. The Laodicean church of America needs reviving, which means Christians whose love for Jesus has grown cold need a new love for Him. Not a love that is divided among the many things competing for our love. We need to love Jesus with a faithful love knowing that He will meet all our needs beyond our wildest dreams, including a righteous nation:
â€œOh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.â€ (Psalm 31:23)
There is still something missing from this recipe for undivided love. We know we need to love God unequivocally to have such a love, but how do we do that?
Well, actually we canâ€™t do that. That is the work of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are not naturally wired to love unequivocally, but when we become born again we are re-wired into the love of Christ. It is through Jesus we learn how to love in such a way:
â€œNow may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ.â€ (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Dear Christian, are you struggling with divided love? Turn back to your original love for Jesus and rekindle that love by recommitting your life to Him. Spend time with Him in His word, in prayer, and praising Him throughout your day. It is amazing how we stoke the fires of heavenly love for Christ when we praise Him.
Dear friend, do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Perhaps youâ€™ve never experienced this love of which I write. Itâ€™s not some medieval mystery reserved for the few select or overly religious. It is attainable through the shed blood of Jesus and itâ€™s available to all who will come to Him.
I pray you will do so today. I pray that each of us will learn to love Jesus with all our heart, soul, and strength and experience a new love, one undivided in devotion and depth.
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Copyright Â© 2015 David Jeffers