It’s Valentine season again which means that love is in the air! But this day I want to celebrate not only my love for my beautiful wife, but also the love of the Lord Jesus. I’m reminded of these powerful lyrics…”Your love endured the cross, despising all the shame, that afternoon when midnight fell, your suffering cleared my name.” And these lyrics remind me of the words of Jesus when he said, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend.” Faith can move mountains, Hope can endure all things, but love can change the world. The most powerful force in the world is the love of God. And it was on the cross that His love was on full display. Jesus laid down His life so that we could enjoy ours abundantly. So today as we enjoy the salvation of God, let’s remember it is His love for us that holds us and keeps us in His hands.
There is a wonderful passage of scripture in 2 Samuel 7 where God, by way of the prophet Samuel, promises David that he will use his son to build a house for the Chest of God and that he will bless his family through generations and will make David’s name famous. David’s response was beautiful. The Bible says he “went into his place and sat before the Lord.” In other words, David had a regular place in which he would go and be with God. I wonder today if you have a regular place like David did, where you go and seek the face of God each day? Do you have time set apart for uninterrupted moments with Him? If not, I would highly encourage you to find that place, pick that time, and go there each day. That is where you will find intimate fellowship with your Savior and that is where your worship of Him will deepen.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” We live in a day where there is more persecution of Christians happening worldwide than at any other time. Last year alone over 200,000 Christians were martyred for their faith. These precious souls, gave up the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our Savior. When we live boldly for Christ and display our faith publicly, people will clearly see it. You neighbors, co-workers, friends and family will have no doubt as to where your heart is. It doesn’t mean we are obnoxious or rude or arrogant. Rather, they will know us by our love. Living for Jesus means we run the risk of persecution. But just remember the words of Christ. When you are persecuted for His name’s sake, you will reap a great reward in heaven.
One of the risks with being a promoter of God’s love is that you will be sure to face opposition. The Gospel of the Lord Jesus is itself offensive because even though the truth has the power to set people free from their sin, there still must come a reckoning and a confession of that sin. So when confronted with truth, people get angry and sometimes even violent. This often results in persecution of the one who presented the truth. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Have you ever been persecuted simply for being a Christian? If you have, then consider yourself blessed because that means your faith is obvious enough to others that they see Jesus in you.
God is a God of peace. Jesus came that we might have peace and ultimately that there would be peace in this world. However, our understanding of peace and the world’s understanding of peace are two different things. True peace starts and ends with peace in the heart of the individual. Peace about the condition of your soul allows you to live at peace with others. “Blessed are the peacemakers, “Jesus said, “for they will be called the sons of God.” True peacemakers are those who promote the love of God and the kingdom of God. You can only become a peacemaker if you know the author of all peace, and if you are at peace yourself. And you know what the world needs? More peacemakers. Worshipers who live for Jesus in all things and who promote the peace that only God can bring. Will you be a peacemaker today?