Week 2 Abide and Adhere
Jesus became one of us because of the Father’s love. Our Savior’s life, death, and resurrection are Holy expressions of the Almighty God’s intense longing for the children He created.
Prior to the advent of Christ, there was no hope for humanity; all flesh was condemned because of sin. Through Christ, we are enabled to be loved by God. Because of Christ, we are beloved.
ow do we hold tight to our Lord? How do we adhere to Him? Our relationship with the Savior of the world seems like a mismatched love story: flesh and Spirit, human and God. Although we may trust in His knowledge of us, we are not able to fully know Him. How are we to move forward in relationship and obedience to the one and only God of the Universe?
The event that inspires us to cling to our Lord is the incarnation. We could not come to Him and so He came to us, and even more astounding, He became one of us. We have a Savior who understands the struggles we face because He encountered the same struggles as a human being, and yet did not sin. By taking our sin upon Himself, He has made a way for our repeated failures to be woven into the tapestry of His success.
Our Lord measures our progress by the state of our hearts rather than by outward signs such as a number on the scale. He doesn’t chastise us for lack of achievement, but loves us where we are and gently leads us to a higher place. We do not serve a demanding god who places impossible requirements upon our shoulders as indentured servants; we don’t have to pay our own way. Our God is a loving Father who has adopted us as His own children.
At the heart of a successful Christian journey there is a reciprocal love relationship: God’s love for us and ours for Him. Our knowledge of God’s love grows in proportion to our love for Him. If we focus exclusively upon acquiring knowledge of God’s love for us, the result is inspiration with no action. And if we attend only to how we are to love God, we are in danger of legalism (here is what I must do to prove my love for God). We are invited to be His partners in the sacred dance of His love for us and ours for Him: fallen flesh cleansed by Holy Blood, created spirits enlightened and enlivened by the Holy Spirit, physical bodies strengthened and empowered by His new life within. If we learn the Holy dance, our awareness of God’s love for us grows in tandem with our love for Him.
The world looks for outward signs of success, but God sees our hearts. Understand, Beloved, that our Lord probably won’t transform your physical body or outward circumstances ahead of transformation of your heart. As your heart is set right, the rest will follow; do not fall to discouragement. Focus now on your love for God and His for you. This love story is your legacy and the fulfillment of all the dreams you’ve cherished for yourself. You are being sculpted into a form that will allow you the joy of reciprocity of love with the Almighty God.
Pray: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your willingness to leave equality with God behind as You became flesh. Thank You for understanding the struggles I face in my humanness and for my forgiveness purchased by Your blood. Please set my heart right as I focus on You, and let my heart’s response to Your love bless You. I praise Your Holy Name! Amen.
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
Philippians 2:6-7 NLT
Philippians 2:6-7 NLT