As children of God, we have been given a new home and a new hope. May your heart be set aflame by the joy and purpose of living out God’s command to live for heaven this week: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
Scripture:“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
We belong to a kingdom built not by the blood, sweat, and tears of servants but by the wounds and scars of a loving and sacrificial King. As disciples of Jesus we have been granted access into a lifetime of giving and receiving unconditional love. Our Savior willingly laid down his life that we might know the love of our heavenly Father throughout this life and all eternity. John 15:9-13 says,
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
To live for heaven is to abide in a lifetime of constant and tangible love from the Father so that we might live healed and able to pour out genuine love to others. This life is all about love. Jesus boiled down all the commandments into loving God and loving people. If we truly desire to live in obedience to God’s commands, we must live with a heavenly perspective. 1 John 4:7 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” To live for the world is to maintain an attitude of selfishness and pursue fleeting and insincere affections. To live for heaven is to daily say yes to being born of God and to pursue knowing the Father. To know our Creator is to know love itself. And when we experience the love of our Father, we will be transformed into instruments of his love for all those around us.
God longs to give us a heavenly perspective today that we might receive the fullness of his love and in return love him and others. 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Living for heaven starts with letting God love us. It starts with carving out space in our daily routine to rest in the knowledge of our Father’s love and allow it to transform, redeem, and heal us. We all carry wounds that need to be touched by the love of our Father.
It’s only after being loved by God that we can truly love others. Without encounters with the heart of the Father, we are incapable of living selflessly. Pride is the natural state of all those who aren’t consistently encountering the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. But through God’s grace and receiving a heavenly perspective, we can step outside ourselves and the fleshly desires of this world and truly love others with the heart of God.
Take time in guided prayer to let your heavenly Father love you today. Let go of any roots of pride that are keeping you from loving him and others. And ask the Holy Spirit to guide you into a lifestyle of loving others with the love you’ve been shown in Christ Jesus.
1. Take time to receive the love of your heavenly Father. Meditate on Scripture that will fill you with the knowledge of his love. Ask him to reveal his nearness and wait on his calming and peaceful presence.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” John 15:9
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you anything that is keeping you from living a lifestyle of being loved and loving others.
3. How would the Holy Spirit guide you into a lifestyle of loving others today? In what ways have you been loved so that you can turn around and love others? Who needs grace and forgiveness today? Who needs a loving friend or a kind stranger? Who needs to hear the message of reconciliation and hope that you’ve found in Jesus?
“If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:20-21
“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
For the majority of my relationship with God up to this point, I didn’t know what it meant to truly experience God’s love. I didn’t know that God could tangibly affect my emotions, mood, purpose, and perspective with his presence. It was only once I began to consistently make time and space to let God love me that my life began to be transformed and healed and I began to walk in freedom. It was only once I began to consistently encounter God’s heart that I was filled with a longing to love others. There is nothing more important or foundational to this life than experiencing the love of your heavenly Father. May you discover the wealth of affections your Father has for you as you carve out space to encounter him throughout your day today.
Extended Reading: John 15
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