TODAY'S READING FROM https://utmost.org/ -- in addition to text from print version of Oswald Chambers Daily Devotional: My Utmost For His Highest -- Date: May 11
Love is indefinite to most of us, we do not know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that that preference be for Himself (cf. Luke 14:26). When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ is easily first; then we must practice the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.
The first thing God does is to knock pretense and the pious pose right out of me. The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. “Now,” He says to me, “show the same love to others” — “Love as I have loved you.” “I will bring any number of people about you whom you cannot respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you.” You won’t reach it on tiptoe. Some of us have tried to, but we were soon tired.
The Lord “suffereth long….” Let me look within and see His dealings with me. The knowledge that God has loved me to the uttermost, to the end of all my sin and meanness* and selfishness and wrong, will send me forth into the world to love in the same way. God’s love to me is inexhaustible, and I must love others from the bedrock of God’s love to me. Growth in grace stops the moment I get huffed. I get huffed because I have a peculiar person to live with. Just think how disagreeable I have been to God! Am I prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time? Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it is cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline.
Just imagine the perfect balance of love, grace, justice and forgiveness. A relationship which would only seek the good, the pleasant and the holy. A relationship where pesky foxes never stole away joy or maintained records of wrongdoings. Such a relationship is so very lofty – and costly – that it could never exist between sinful people in our natural world. Once and only once was this love ever seen on this plane of existence. And we did such a poor job of understanding it that we preferred to destroy it. No, not everyone, but certainly enough people were terrified of this Jesus the Christ that they looked away while love itself was crucified. Dear Lord, HELP US to truly love and forgive as you have done for us.
God Bless You This Day Lovey!