JOHN 15:9 – As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
THEME OF THE DAY. THE LOVE OF JESUS KNOWN AND ADORED. We may search high and low for happiness and a contented heart. We may go long and far in our quest for inner satisfaction. And in whatever direction we go, if it isn’t toward knowing the love of God in Christ Jesus, every twist, every turn, and every pursuit will leave us empty and unfilled. Any road traveled to find happiness, contentment, and satisfaction that is not pointed to the Lord Jesus is a dead end street leaving us disillusioned, discouraged, and disappointed. It must be so. God has ordained it to be so. He simply will not allow human beings to be contented now and forever apart from Him; and not in the things He gives, but in Himself. And not just Himself as an add-on in life, but as our lives. Sadly, there are way too many “miserable” Christians who are no different than unbelievers in the happiness, contentment, and satisfaction categories because they attempt to live with their wills AND God’s will co-inhabiting in their hearts. Friends, that’s not going to happen. Ever. Our God is a jealous God who will not share the supreme place of affections in our hearts with anyone or anything. And that is good, very good, because our happiness, contentment, and satisfaction is found when Christ and His love is the supreme affection in our hearts.
So, if the love of Jesus known and adored is our happiness, contentment, and satisfaction, how do we experience this promise of God and spiritual reality with Him? We must meditate and become saturated in our minds and hearts with the expressions of this love revealed in the scripture. Let’s visit four places we see the love of Christ revealed. As we do, take time and linger long until His love enflames our hearts.
First, we hear His words of love in the greatest invitation to meet the greatest need we have – soul rest found in Christ’s salvation freely offered – “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30). Grasp what is happening. The Creator and Savior extends an invitation to anyone who will come to Him to be relieved of life’s greatest burden – the guilt of sin.
Next, we see Christ’s love in the greatest display of sympathy known to man – “And he said, ‘Where have you laid him?’ They said to him, ‘Lord, come and see.’ Jesus wept. So the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’” (John 11:34-36). The shortest verse in the Bible might be the most profound in the Bible. The Creator and Savior weeps over the misery of what the consequences of sin, death, does in the hearts of His created people. What pity! What mercy!
A third glorious place we are privileged to behold Christ’s love is at His cross and listening to the supreme words of love proclaimed from Him, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Don’t be quick to leave this scene. Look up at the bleeding Savior. See the blood, sweat and tears flowing down His face. Stare at the brutality of humanity against the Godman making Him barely visible. And He was innocent, yet, what love to focus on the forgiveness of those who deserve His wrath.
Finally, stay at the cross and hear the soul-searching words from Jesus revealing a love that is beyond words, “About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthni?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Matthew 27:46). And the answer to that question is, “Jesus was forsaken by His God and Father so that we would not be forsaken by our God and Father. That is love in the highest degree and a love, if sought and meditated upon, will satisfy all our longings for happiness, contentment, and satisfaction.
PRAYER: “Lord, create in me such a hunger to know Your love that I pursue it with all my heart.”
QUOTE: “The love of Jesus is the one thing that completely satisfies ever longing in the human being.”