This is the Fourth Part in a Four Part Series TITLED, Living the LOVED LIFE; the GOOD LIFE. If you have not done so already, please read the previous three posts making up the GOOD LIFE series.
The Bible emphatically declares Jesus' love for us. IT’S A BIG LOVE. The entire Bible is about God's love for us. Remember that Jesus took on ALL THE WORLD SINS, while we committed them all. I am telling you, it's not about our love.
1 Corinthians 15:10 "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me."
Jesus KNEW NO SIN, and we ONLY KNOW SIN. So how can it be about our love? Jesus loves us too much to let our love be a part of any equation connected to our SALVATION.
2 Corinthians "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, AND THE LOVE OF GOD, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all."
Holy Spirit constantly intercedes for us according to the will of God. Can we say the same thing about our love for Jesus? How bout our love for others? I wonder if I ask the people who know me best, “how is my love compared to Jesus’ love?” I wonder what they would say? NOT!
Romans 8:27 "and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Can ANY man say he died for Jesus so that Jesus could be resurrected? How much have we really given up to love Jesus, compared to what HE HAS ALREADY GIVEN UP ON OUR BEHALF? Is Jesus even looking for us to give up anything, or is he expecting us to RECEIVE HIS FREE GIFT OF SALVATION?
Romans 8:34 "who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, WHO ALSO INTERCEDES FOR US."
If God is for us, AND HE IS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, what can we do for God in return? How can we love that big? How can we pay Him back for what He has done for us? And, can we say the same about our love for Jesus? Can we claim to have suffered and died and rose again on HIS behalf so HE could be saved?
Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to these things? IF GOD IS FOR US, who is against us?
Our love for God can’t possibly be compared to God’s love for us, so let’s not even go there. Grace is all about SUPPLY, and God’s Love is demonstrated by His Grace. We can’t supply anything. We were designed to receive and share only.
1 Peter 3:18 "For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, SO THAT HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD, having been put to death in the flesh, BUT MADE ALIVE IN THE SPIRIT;"
Grace is a FREE GIFT of God, and it WORKS IN US. I am counting on Jesus and His love IN ME, and I put absolutely no faith in my love for Him or anyone else for that matter. If I do anything good, it is HIS LOVE ALIVE IN ME that produces the GOOD LIFE. The GOOD LIFE is the fruit of the Spirit.
Ephesians 3:7 "of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power."
Jesus' COMPLETE work on the Cross afforded me SALVATION BY GRACE. Grace means unearned, unmerited, and undeserved, and it is often paired up with God’s peace and then for good measure, He multiples both so we have more than enough and some to spare. THROUGH MY LOVE, I CAN DO NONE OF THESE THINGS.
2 Peter 1:2 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;"
God’s intention has always been for us to LIVE THE LOVED LIFE and then REIGN IN HIS LIFE. The Bible is clear about the FATHER’S HEART OF LOVE FOR US. And, you can trust me when I say, no one will reign in life through my love.
Romans 5:17 "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those WHO RECEIVE THE ABUNDANCE OF GRACE and the GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL REIGN IN LIFE THROUGH THE ONE, JESUS CHRIST."
As I look at my love for Jesus, can I compare it to the love of God or of His Son, Jesus? No… we're not even supposed to focus on our love, only His. The truth is, my love for God and His Son is not even considered in the Salvation equation. It’s all about RECEIVING HIS LOVE FOR US as a free gift. That is where the power of the GOOD LIFE comes from.
Romans 5:15 "But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many."
My love for my Heavenly Father can’t be mentioned in the same breath as God’s love for us.
2 Corinthians 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
Man’s love for God is NOT EVEN IN THE SAME UNIVERSE as His love for us. The more we know OF GOD’S LOVE FOR US, the more our TRUST IS IN HIM. Remember, Jesus died for us YET WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS.
James Four Six "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
We never died for JESUS. But Jesus suffered and died for us. He came to earth to die to cover my sins. Jesus came to love and give me HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS when I did not deserve it. Now, that is the LOVED LIFE.
Matthew 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
Trust me; it’s never been about our love for God or for Jesus, but it has always been about HIS LOVE FOR US.
John 21:15 "So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus *said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Tend My lambs.”
Remember, Peter, denied knowing Christ three times. But Jesus loved Peter and built His early Church on Peter’s ministry. Jesus, having already been crucified and resurrected, gave Peter three new opportunities to correct himself. We call it GRACE. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” But why ask THREE TIMES? Because Peter was still very dishonest with himself, even after being humiliated. Peter was still exaggerating his love for Christ.
John 21:16 "He *said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He *said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He *said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
Basically, Jesus was asking Peter to “get real” with himself and admit to how little Peter’s love really was (a lower form of brotherly love), especially when compared to Jesus' love FOR PETER (Agape love, a higher form of Godly Love).
John 21:17 "He *said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “DO YOU LOVE ME?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep."
When Jesus asked Peter if he loved Jesus the first two times, Peter emphatically declared, “Yes, Lord, I absolutely love you.” Peter was being dishonest by declaring his HEART LOVE for Jesus when in fact, Peter’s love for Jesus did not rise above that of a friend or brother.
Luke 14:33 "So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions."
The third and final time Jesus asked Peter, Peter declared ONLY HIS “brotherly love” for Christ, thus becoming more authentic and genuine, and honest about HIS LOVE FOR CHRIST.
John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease."
More of HIM and none of ME. Jesus overcame the world for Peter and for you and me. Peter didn’t do diddly squat for Jesus, and neither did we.
Matthew 20:28 "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
So, it’s actually pathetic to think we can compare our love FOR Jesus WITH His love for us. I couldn’t even overcome my own world, let alone the WHOLE WORLD. But Jesus conquered the whole world (all evil and all bad) and gave me ALL the benefits.
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
Maturity IN CHRIST is never measured by looking at ourselves, our good works, or even our love for God.
Mark 9:35 "Sitting down, He called the twelve and *said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
The mature Christian KNOWS HOW VALUED WE ARE TO GOD, our Father. What did we ever do to deserve ANYTHING God has given to us?
John 17:22-26 "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. “O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them and I in them."
Christian maturity can only be measured by LIVING my Life knowing how much I am loved by God, with NO APOLOGIES.
Ephesians 2:4-10 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."
Live Life - Join God’s movement of GOODNESS on earth. Grace is the TRUTH that sets us free.
2 Corinthians 12:9 "And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me."
Live the ABUNDANT LIFE and DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL. Sin has been condemned, not you or me; JESUS PAID IT ALL. SO LIVE LIKE IT. Make God’s JOY COMPLETE, and LIVE THE LIFE OF CHRIST ALREADY IN YOU. No fear, no condemnation, no shame, and NO DOUBT.
Live the LOVED LIFE where GRACE ABOUNDS. Jesus paid a huge cost so we can have it all.
- Let those who are truly alive IN CHRIST give and share everything.
- Live the GOSPEL every day.
- Let GOD BE GOD, and let Him BLESS YOU.
- Live the LOVED LIFE and bless others.
Father, awaken my LIFE; I want to LIVE.
The Good Life… Living the GOOD LIFE that God intended. We are called to fully enjoy our life by Grace and share EVERYTHING we get. To live the good life, God wants us CONTINUOUSLY to LIVE AT THE THRONE OF GRACE to receive it - LIVE LIFE LOVED in Jesus' name!
You have just completed the fourth of four articles in this series. Please share!
Living the LOVED LIFE; the GOOD LIFE Part 1
Living the LOVED LIFE; the GOOD LIFE Part 2
Living the LOVED LIFE; the GOOD LIFE Part 3