22 August 2012

More love, O Christ, to Thee

I think if we are honest as believers we will all admit to times where our love for God seemed lacking.  It is not as if we denounced the faith or denied Christ, but we have all gone through times where it seemed God was distant and our love and worship of Him seemed stale.  Chances are we have all seen this season of life and we probably will see times of it again in the future.  So the question has to be answered, what do we do in this situation.  The answer I am going to give is not a catch all answer, as there may be unrepentant sin, etc. that you need to deal with, but I do think it applies to most, if not all of these situations in some shape or form.

First, let's evaluate how not to increase our love for God.  Often times people get in this stage and they immediately feel guilty about it and they want to try harder to love God.  They will make themselves busy in church and doing other things and think that a love for God will just develop from their business.  Or some look at John 14.15 where Jesus says if you love me you will keep my commandments and think that if they just start following all the rules that they will love God.  But here is the problem with this, they are all based upon you seeking to work for God's love, both in receiving and giving of it.  You can't work your way to loving God more.  So if we can't work our way into a love for God what are we to do?

To me, a large part of the answer to this question is found in Luke 7.36-50.  Here there is a sinful woman who falls at the feet of Jesus, amid much social mockery, and washes his feet with her tears and dries his feet with her hair.  In the midst of this situation Jesus, speaking to the self-righteous pharisees, says that her love flowed from the reality of her great sins being forgiven, whereas those who had been forgiven little loved little.  Jesus is not saying that some are really in need of forgiveness, rather he was pointing out the hardness of the heart in the self righteous.  From this we see the answer to growing in our love for God, this being that we dwell upon His great forgiveness for us in Christ.  We often lose sight of just how sinful and depraved and in need of grace we were when Christ saved us, and how sinful and depraved and in need of grace we are now.  We lose sight of God's great grace and mercy for us and the great work of Christ on our behalf.  May we all fall on our faces and pray that our Father in Heaven would draw us back to our dependency upon him and His great forgiveness for us in Christ.  Would the doctrine of grace and the reality of our salvation not merely be theological statements that we affirm, but may they be life changing truth that draws us deeper into a love of and worship to God the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit.

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