Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Sunday, 23 May 21:
Note: Here is a short video overview of the books of Kings — https://youtu.be/bVFW3wbi9pk
Psalm 63:3 — “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.”
Do you treasure the love of God more than life itself? Ironically, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6),” and “this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) John reiterates, “God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11) The love of God is life, and Jesus’ prayer for us is that we would be “one” with Him in this life and into eternity. (John 17) When God’s love is more important to us than life itself, we then experience true life and the fullness of joy.
Therefore, God’s greatest commandment for us is to love Him wholeheartedly. (Matthew 22:36-38) The next greatest commandment is to love others as ourselves, and our “Great Commission” is to tell others about Jesus because of our love for both God and them (Matthew 28:18-20). Notice, that Jesus directly tied loving others with loving God – they are inseparable – you can’t do one without doing the other. Jesus went on to say, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments…. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” (John 14:15, John 15:12) Before enduring the cross, Jesus prayed earnestly that we would be united in Him, in His love, and that our love for Him and others would spread the knowledge (not just intellectual but experiential) of Him across the world that the unity in Him would spread across the earth – “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:17-26)
Sharing Jesus with others should come naturally. What we love most is what we are excited to tell others about the most, and when we love others, we are compelled to want the very best for them – the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Psalm 63:3 naturally links the Great Commandment with the Great Commission – “Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” The person who has truly experienced the love of God through Christ can’t help but “proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” (Mark 16:15)
“Your steadfast love is better than life.” Today after over a year COVID 19, people across the globe are still taking great precautions to guard their lives against the treat of virus, and it is hard to have a conversation with someone without COVID 19 coming up, though one hardly need to say anything since our behavior (social distancing) and our apparel (masks) leave no doubt about what is preeminent in most people’s minds. What if we guarded our hearts and our relationship with Jesus as much as we guarded our lives? How might our words and behavior change? And what if everyone’s relationship with Jesus was as important to us as their physical health? What if we were as serious about sharing Christ with others as we have been about preventing the spread of COVID 19? How many people have you shared Jesus Christ with during the COVID 19 crisis? During this historic time, have you proclaimed His Name? If you have found it more difficult to share the Gospel with others than remaining largely isolated and wearing a mask everywhere you go, if sharing Jesus feels more awkward or unnatural that what you have been doing for sake of COVID precautions and mandates, draw closer to Jesus and abide more fully in His love. When Jesus is your true passion, you won’t have a problem talking about Him with others.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 23 May 21: Share your love for God with others today and proclaim His love for them by sharing the Gospel.