It seems that whilst restrictions currently applied to our lives for the sake of our own health might be relaxed in the coming months that “social distancing” will be around for some time yet. How that changes in the longer term the way in which we relate to others has yet to be seen but, if it’s the law we have to obey and remember it’s for our own good.
My daily reading this morning was Deuteronomy 30:11-14 but in my own pattern, forgetting where I was to stop I read on to the end of verse 16, and at the beginning of that verse Moses commands the people to love the Lord and walk in obedience to him. Just then a thought popped into my mind, how can anyone command love? Love is given and received it can’t be commanded, it grows out of a relationship. It looks like a conundrum until you read further back in the chapter at verse 6..... “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.” You see the initiative is taken by God who opens a relationship with us and gives us life by his grace, who has shown us love and makes it possible for us to love him in return. So, love is a response to God’s first love, a love that is shown comprehensively in Jesus and our love for him is seen in how we live day by day in harmony with his revealed will; obedience in a word.
Writing in his first letter chapter 4 John puts it like this “This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: in this world we are like Jesus.” Of course were not always like Jesus, and our behaviour does not always glorify him nor our attitudes reveal his love in us and therein lies the problem. We complain that understanding what God wants is too hard, we can’t understand his word it’s too hard. That might require us to think! Well, Moses won’t have any of that and writes in Deut30:14 “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so that you may obey it.” The problem and the answer are identified by the hymn writer William Cowper in the hymn “Hark my soul”..... Lord, it is my chief complaint that my love is weak and faint; yet I love thee, and adore: O for grace to love thee more!
Lord I praise you that your very nature is love and I thank you that in grace you called me to know you and that in Jesus my sins are forgiven. Thank you Lord you have enabled me to respond in faith to the call of Jesus. I ask for grace to love and serve you, for the help of the Holy Spirit to face and overcome the challenges, trials and the temptations that come along day by day and I ask this to you glory and so that Jesus my Lord may be seen in me. AMEN
Your love (Pour over me) Stuart Townend.