As I take a backward look at my life and a forward look at my future, lacing all this together is my love for God and His precious Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. My poor, human love has been fanned into flame by His grace and His Spirit. He is the secret and source of all my other loves. Loving God comes first. Loving Him is our primary calling. To love Him in the happy times and the sad times, the rich times and the poor times, the young and the old times is the key to everything of worth in life.
And what of the battle to love? What about the selfish core of my heart that loves only me. Supremely and arrogantly? Will I write of that? How can I not? For this is the battle of all battles; it is where we experience our greatest victories and our worst defeats. The problem is that we were born with a spy in the camp, an enemy within. We were born with a bias in our soul—a bias to self-centeredness, self-aggrandizement, self-absorption, self-indulgence, and self-destruction. This center core must be subdued by love—the love of God. Until I figure out how to let God get the victory in this battle over self, till love dominated my thinking, my actions, and my very soul, I will find no release.
This wretched bias to self-gratification needs a counterbias. But we can’t do it on our own. We need the presence of Jesus within us. When He lives His life in us, sin will not have dominion over us. A change will take place that gives us the power to love God and love others. What joy! What release and relief!
You see, we cannot live the Christian life. There is only one person who ever did, and that person is Jesus Christ. We can try to imitate His life—the way He worked, the way He thought, the way He cared for people, and above all, the way He loved people—but we will severely fail.
There is a story told of a small boy who was given a hen as a pet. The small hen produced small eggs. One day the boy was at the zoo, where a large ostrich had just produced an egg. It was a large egg, but then what would you expect from a large bird! The little boy took a picture and had it developed. He took his photo down to the little hen, propped it up in front of her, and said, “Look at this and try harder!”
It is useless to prop up a picture of Jesus in front of people and say, “Look at this and try harder!” For this they need Jesus. Once He is resident, He needs to be president. He must be King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He must master you so you can master yourself capable of doing things you have given up hope of ever doing. Things like loving Him back, and loving your friends and enemies alike. Things like knowing the reality of God’s love for every person you know!
Just Between Us Magazine