Devotional Thought 10: Chain Link Love

He who has My commandments and obeys them is he who truly loves Me. And he who truly loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (John 14:21)

Mary and Joseph head to Bethlehem, the city of David, when they find out that there’s a census being taken and everyone needs to be registered in the city of their ancestors. After a three day journey, it’s time for Mary to give birth, and she delivers her Son into the world, wraps Him in cloth, and puts Him in a manger. Meanwhile, somewhere outside of Bethlehem in the fields, shepherds are doin’ their shepherd thing when an angel appears to tell them about the birth of the “Savior, who is Christ the Lord!” (Luke 2:11)

Then, a bunch of angels appear and praise God, “Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, and goodwill (love) towards men!” (2:14) In other words, they were saying “All glory to God in Heaven, because on Earth, His peace and love have arrived!” The angels were declaring something that would change the world forever: God’s love for you, and His desire for peace with you, have just come into the world in Christ; that Child is God manifesting Himself to humanity! The Son of God has been born as a Baby in Bethlehem in order to save you, all out of love. This is what starts it all.

We can only love Jesus because He first loved us (1 John 4:21), starting by coming to us in our sin and hopelessness as a baby, in human flesh and blood, to live among us and save us. Because of His love for us, we can love Him, and desire Him! Jesus tells us, though, that anyone who truly loves Him will obey Him, and live according to His will. So, what’s His will for us? He wants us to believe that He is the Son of God, and follow His example by loving others the way He loved us. (1 John 3:23) Jesus then finishes it off by giving a super-cool promise to everyone who truly loves Him: He will manifest Himself to them. In other words, through His Spirit living in us, Jesus will reveal Himself, and make His presence more known to those tho truly love and obey Him!

So now, we have a Chain Link of Love forming:

  • Jesus first loved us –> We love Him –> We obey Him –> We follow His example –> He reveals Himself to us

For the Lord to reveal Himself to us, to make Himself known to us deeper and more powerfully, is all we could ever want in life! This is such a beautiful promise He gives us, because it ends with us knowing Jesus (knowing Him personally; experiencing Him) like we never have before, whatever that looks like for each of us.

  • If we really love the Lord Jesus, we’ll obey Him and follow after His example. Those are the people who experience Him, who He reveals Himself to. And it all began with His love for us.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ…I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. (Philippians 3: 7,10)

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