Every morning God whispers – in same way or another – “make space for Me.” He wants us to ensure we have a prepared room for him, just like Paul encouraged Philemon to prepare a guest room for his visit. How does your room look for Christ? Is there “white space” in your day? Is it clutter-free so God has a place to sit? Is there room in the margins for you to allow Him to pen you notes? He’s worth your time. He’s worth your day. He’s worth your life. Christ died for you. It’s time to live for Him.
With this fresh spring season comes a new Bible study to tuck under your floral belt (I hear florals are all the rage in fashion this year). Sometimes life is beige. It’s “eh.” It feels a little blah, blah, blah. But those average moments multiply and begin to formulate our lives as believers. Therefore, we must stay in our lane and run hard. Be tenacious!
Learned this lesson: I should’ve gone directly to God in prayer and allowed Him to give me a better perspective. I didn’t honor God by valuing unity over the temporary pleasure of gossiping (in an effort to gain sympathy from others). I was wrong...find out more about this situation in this week's Ephesians 4 study.
Maybe the Beatles were onto something (or on something?) when they wrote All You Need Is Love. But, the love they were referring to wasn't the agape--or unconditional love--our Savior drenches us in. As we conclude the final chapter in Exodus (hooray!) and forge our way towards the Christmas season, there's no more ideal time than this to pause and be steeped in His love.
How blessed we are to have Jesus Christ, Who fulfills the covenant put in place during this Old Testament time. As New Testament believers, we don’t live by an if/then statement like this: If we follow His word and never sin, then He will love us. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” What Jesus asks of us is that we believe in Him, and then rest in His accomplished work.
This week, there is a tiny but powerful word used: if. First, let’s make it clear that God’s love for us is not conditional. He gave an eternal gift willingly through the death and resurrection of Christ. However, it’s important to note that as believers, there is a link between love and obedience. Christ’s love for us drove Him to action. Love cannot exist without action.
The word love – mentioned three times in this single verse – has a powerful root. Love, in this context, translates to agape in the Greek. Agape is unconditional love – it requires nothing in return and abounds in grace (undeserved favor). We could read the verse like this: “As the Father has unconditionally loved Me, so I deeply love you with a love that requires nothing in return. Now dwell richly in My abounding grace.”