Posted by: dhkrause | November 7, 2016

God’s Expansive Love

When God communicates His love to you through the friendship of another, a prayer may rise up spontaneously within you, that you may bless others the way this friend has blessed you.  When this happens, waves of God’s love keep expanding outward as each receives and reaches to others with His love.  This indeed is Christ’s call to us, and he said that this is how people will know that we are His disciples:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)

Christ’s love is a fervent and personal love: for the Father, for the disciples, and for the sons and daughters he is bringing to glory:

Hebrews 2
10 
For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren;
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
13 
And again: “I will put My trust in Him.”
And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me
.”

He endured the cross “for the joy that was set before him”. (Hebrews 12:2) This joy flowed from his love for His Father, and from his love for those who would receive Him and be ushered into glory.  His salvation is for all who believe in Him, as he declared, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:162 Peter 3:9 declares that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

How are we to love as Jesus loves?  1 Peter 1:22-23 describes this kind of love as follows: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”.

We have power to love one another fervently with a pure heart, “because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)  Paul also declares in 1 Timothy 1:7, that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

In Philippians 2, Paul describes the mindset of Christ that we are to emulate as we walk in His love:

Philippians 2
Unity Through Humility
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Expressing the love of God includes sharing with others the Good News of the reality of Jesus Christ and the salvation he freely gives to all who believe in Him.  Psalm 107:2 exhorts, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,” and Isaiah 52:7 declares, “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’

In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul declares that believers have been given a “ministry of reconciliation”, and that we are called to be “ambassadors for Christ”:

2 Corinthians 5
17 
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
20 
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The Holy Spirit led me to write this song, which is inspired by brothers and sisters who reach out to others in friendship, with the love of Christ:

Christ’s Love and Call

Beloved, Beloved, Christ loves you and calls you to be His own.
Brother, Sister, He loves you and calls you to be His friend,
Strong and pure, ambassador, reaching out to others,
That they may know Him too, and they may be His friend.

Yeshua Messiah, You love us and call us to be Your own.
Master, Savior, You love us and call us to be Your friend,
Strong and pure, ambassador, reaching out to others,
That they may know You too, and they may be Your friend.

The heart cry of this song is to know Christ and His love more fully than ever, and to reach out to others with His love.  The Holy Spirit empowers us to love others fervently, without fear, with a pure heart and sound mind.  When blessed by the godly love of a friend, we joyously reciprocate and pray we can bless others in the same way, that others may know Him too.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/    11/6/2016


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