He loved and knew you before he created you , before he created time.
To a rebellious people who rejected him and killed his prophets, he bled and died to satisfy judgment and to preserve his holiness. To those that reject his sacrifice, he still causes the sun to shine upon them and the rains to raise their crops. He calls them through his faulty saints, his word, the majesty of his creation, and the force of conscience.
He loves us patiently and is slow to anger. He calls us to return his love and devotion and to love each other selflessly. Though he is the ageless, almighty, creator of all things seen and unseen, he humbled himself to be born a child to a peasant couple in a backwater province on the outskirt of the Roman empire. To make sure we didn’t miss the point, he was born among the squalor of livestock, with no servants, not even a bed. Instead of a king, to the world he appeared a bastard child. He demonstrated what it means to humble oneself for purposes of serving and loving those that do not deserve it. He calls us to demonstrate that same love in all areas of our lives and to all people.
By this all will know those who call upon the name of Christ, by the way we love, particularly the way we love one another. Peter instructs that our diligence should lead to moral excellence, which should produce knowledge and self-control, resulting in perseverance, which in turn leads to godliness, in which we are to practice brotherly kindness, and in that love. (2 Peter 1:5-7) We love most truly and most effectively when we are in close communion with God, as it is then that we are merely reflecting his presence in us.
Lord show me how to love like you, first to my wife, with whom I share one flesh, then to those little ones whom you’ve entrusted us to raise, then to everyone else, particularly those I really do not want to love.
But by what callousness to Christ and to others do I fail and refuse to share what God has done in my life, to share my testimony of what God has done for me through the blood of Christ? What black heart finds no shame in smiling at people while refusing to share with them the good news of Jesus Christ? Even if I am fairly certain that they do not know the Gospel of Christ, far too often I chose to stay silent. Am I ashamed of Christ? Would I rather offend him than them? Do I love comfort more than him? Have I not an ounce of pity for their eternal soul? Lord forgive me, every day. Thank you for your patience and grace. God give me the strength and faith to love like you.
By my own efforts, I fall far short. But through Christ, I am a new creation and all things are possible. Praise God.