Loving God; March 5, 2021

Matthew 24:12-13 “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

The Japanese here goes with the more traditional, “the love of many,” but I like the NIV stress of saying “the love of most.” Also, the Japanese goes with “the increase of lawlessness,” rather than the more general, “wickedness.” We forget that God’s laws really cover everything about life. We also forget that in the Upper Room Discourse Jesus very specifically said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15) We are prone to say to Jesus, “I love you, but….” We want to pick and choose what we obey of what He says to us, but that is a cold love indeed. Looking at the world and saying, “I’m better than that,” is a false comparison, because the world is currently the devil’s territory. We need to let the Holy Spirit shine His light on us and show us where we have compromised, how we have let our love grow cold. The pressures are relentless, and we need to keep close watch over our hearts. The comfort is that we can have the assurance that “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) That doesn’t remove our responsibility to cooperate fully with the Holy Spirit, but it should be a good defense against the blanket accusations of the devil.

Recently I got news of yet another person who was in a position of great trust in the Church being persistently unfaithful over a period of years. It boggles the mind at times, but I need to take it as a strong admonition not to let down my guard. I have a very crafty enemy who has no power in himself besides what I give him, but his lies can trip me up. I do consider loving God my highest priority, but as the little chorus says, “But how much I love Thee my actions will show.” When I let my flesh take priority, being lazy and the like, I am not loving God with all I am. I have another month of very relaxed scheduling, and I need to make the use God intends of each minute, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this strong reminder. I do have a lot of stuff I need to get done, but I have ignored or avoided it, from filing my US taxes to making appointments to various kinds of straightening and cleaning. My first priority for this morning is the sermon notes for Sunday, but there are a lot of other things waiting as well. Help me love You enough to be fully faithful, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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