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Devotions > Love Fueled Prayer

20 Aug 2013

In this modern day and age how seriously should we consider Jesus’ commandments below?   

 Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB95)
38 "This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'
40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."

These verses sound similar to those of Moses’ instructions to the Nation of Israel ……   Deuteronomy 6:1-2 (AMP)
1 NOW THIS is the instruction, the laws, and the precepts which the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land to which you go to possess it,
2 That you may [reverently] fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, and keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.
Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB95)
5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

As I meditate on these scriptures above it seems that the Spirit simply calls me to obey.  Please take a brief time to meditate on these commands and to expressly listen to the Spirit concerning these instructions.

What does loving God with all that is within us entail?    Certainly since we are commanded to love God with all that is within us it must be possible, but how is this to be carried out consistently?   How does a weak and frail human find in him the will and the strength to love God with all that is within him?

Perhaps we can obtain a parcel of insight from Paul’s epistle to the Philippians?

Philippians 2:12-13 (Darby)
12 So that, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much rather in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,
13 for it is God who works in you both the willing and the working according to his good pleasure.  
(emphasis added)

In this scripture Paul tells his readers that they should work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.  And in the next sentence he promises that God is working on both our wills and our ability to work on those things that please Him.    It is obvious that Paul is pointing out the partnership of our call between our efforts and the work of God by His Spirit.


  “Specifically they were to work out their salvation. Note that Paul did not

say "work for your salvation." We obtain salvation by receiving it as a gift

(Eph. 2:8), but having received it freely we have a responsibility to

cultivate it. The apostle had in mind the present aspect of our salvation,

sanctification, in which we are laborers together with God (1 Cor. 3:9; cf.

Titus 3:8).105 In justification and glorification, God does all the work (Eph.

2:9; Jude 24). We work out our salvation by keeping in step with the Holy

Spirit who leads us in the will of God (Gal. 5:16). In the context the

particular aspect of sanctification in view involves achieving unity through

humility.” -  from Dr. Constables Expository { Bible Study} Notes

 What specific action or attitude should we assume in obedience to this directive?   Is it not the persistent and consistent humble pursuit of the filling and control of the Holy Spirit?    We are told that the fruit of the Spirit is first love.   Of course it is clear; God loves us.  There is a powerful love that flows from God directed to His children.   However the love that results as fruit from the control of the Holy Spirit is a love that flows primarily outward, since the fruit of the Spirit is not for us to partake of but rather for us to provide. Trees and vines do not eat their own fruit, but rather they provide it to those who come near.

True agape love must be similar in some ways to a two edged sword, it cuts both ways.  It is impossible to provide love to others and to God that did not come first from God. God’s love provides a love filled blessing to the one through whom this love flows.   God’s love is like honey it is very sweet and at the same time quite sticky.   A little sticks to everyone that it touches.

Romans 5:3-5 (NASB95)
3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  (emphasis added)

Love seems to have a reciprocal quality.  We observe this in early adolescents when boys and girls first begin to have affection for the opposite gender.    When a girl is attracted to a particular boy her greatest hope is that this specific boy will be reciprocally attracted to her.   This reciprocal quality of love is also described in the Word of God.

1 John 4:19 (NASB95)
19 We love, because He first loved us.

It is certainly true that we love God only because He first loved us, however it is equally true that we have no love at all except that He first loved us.   

In his classic book “The Power of Prayer” the great American evangelist and Bible scholar R. A. Torrey tells this true story:  “One day in London a little girl came to Mark Guy Pearse, the great English preacher, and looked up wistfully into his face and said, ‘Mr. Pearse, I don’t love Jesus.  I wish I did love Jesus, but I don’t love Jesus.   Won’t you please tell me how to love Jesus?’   And the great preacher looked down into those eager eyes and said to her, ‘little girl, as you go home today keep saying to yourself, Jesus loves Me.  Jesus loves me.  And when you come back next Sunday I think you will be able to say I love Jesus.

The following Sunday the little girl came up to him again.  With happy eyes and a radiant face she exclaimed, ‘Oh Mr. Pearse, I do love Jesus, I do love Jesus.   Last Sunday as I went home I kept saying to myself ‘Jesus loves me.  Jesus loves me.  Jesus loves me.’   And I began to think about His love and I began to think how He died upon the cross in my place, and I found my cold heart growing warm, and the first I knew it was full of love to Jesus.’” 

This story illustrates the truth that while Jesus does love us His love is the exclusive means to fuel our love for Him.  But we must receive by faith the love God has for us in order for His love to activate and empower our love for Him and for others.   We must believe, trust in and rely upon His amazing love for us.    We can find ourselves somewhat blind and deaf, that is distracted by the things of this world, and miss much of the love of God even while He yearns for us to receive it.

1 John 4:16 (AMP)
16 And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him.

Much like the young girl in London many years ago, in order to grow in our love for Jesus, we must grow in our understanding and our faith by regularly meditating on the love God desires to freely dispense.    God is pouring out a Niagara flow of love which showers continually down, pouring over our lives.   Will we but lift up our heads and drink of this river of living water?

1 John 3:1 (AMP)
1 SEE WHAT [an incredible] quality of love the Father has given (shown, bestowed on) us, that we should [be permitted to] be named and called and counted the children of God! And so we are! The reason that the world does not know (recognize, acknowledge) us is that it does not know (recognize, acknowledge) Him.

In his summary comments following the story of the little girl in London, from the book mentioned above, Pastor Torrey provides to us this reflection:  “That is the only way anyone will ever learn to love the Lord Jesus – by first of all believing what the Bible tells us about His love of us even when we are the vilest of sinners, and How He died in our place; and how ‘He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities,’ and how ‘the chastisement of our peace was upon Him’ and how ‘by His stripes we are healed.’   We begin by believing on Him, we begin by believing in His great love for us and we wind up by loving Him and showing our love to Him by daily studying His word to find out His will and doing it every time we find it.  Then we are on praying ground.”

Yes, loving God is critical in our praying.   James tells us: The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].    Loving God is critical in order to be considered righteous in the eyes of God.   Further, it is our love from God and our love for God that activates in our hearts the earnestness and persistence James advocates are required for powerful and dynamic works resulting from our prayers.

Revelation 2:4-5 (AMP)
4 But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love].
5 Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lamp stand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.

How is your first love?  Do you love Him as you should?    Our love for God derived from our faith and appropriation of His love for us makes for momentous merit in the power and productivity of our prayers.

Jeff Williams