Do we do “devotions” or are we devoted?

29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31 (ESV)

9 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. John 15:9 (MSG)

14 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, 15 this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. 16 I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength— 17 that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 18 you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19 Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 (MSG)
Jesus has died. He is a corpse. Those holy women had no expectations. They had seen how he had been abused, and how he had been crucified. How vivid in their minds was the violence of the Passion he had undergone! They knew, too, that the soldiers were keeping watch over the place. They knew that the tomb was sealed shut: “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door?” they asked themselves, for it was a massive slab. But all the same…, in spite of everything, they went to be with him. Look: difficulties, large and small, can be seen at once… But if there is love, one pays no heed to those obstacles: one goes ahead with daring, with conviction, with courage. Don’t you have to confess your shame when you contemplate the drive, the daring and the courage of these women?  (1)

We hear these words from the Gospels often, we talk of the love of God weekly, if not daily, but how often do we do it?  Would we go and challenge soldiers – an attempt to move away a stone from a tomb, out of love for our Rabbi who has died?  How much more should we strive to show our love to the Resurrected Lord of Lords and King of Kings?  They  went to be with His body, the body given for them, even though they couldn’t understand this completely, they knew the miracles he had done, they had even been the recipients of that kind of grace – and they didn’t realize the grace that was about to be revealed.

Still they went!

How can we show Him a love that has recognized His love for us, the passion that God has, passion that would lead to that grave.  How can we respond in love?

John tells us, in the verses following that we remain in His love by treasuring that which He has commissioned – we often see that translated commandments – but it is more than the 10 – it is the life that God has called us to dwell in – the very work of art (Eph 2:10) that we have been created for – which includes the work – that He has planned for us.

This is nothing more, and certainly nothing less, than walking with Christ.  Realizing that each day is a gift – one that we can be at His side, as He continues to call people into a relationship with Him.  They would be our family, our friends, our co-workers, or even people we meet on the other side of the world from home.  We can’t do this simply out of a desire to obey so that we get something.  We would soon dry out, become weary, give up.

But if we love Him, if we come to adore the Lord who adores us enough to be buried… then we come….

Think often today of God’s love,

4 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, 15 this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. 16 I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength— 17 that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 18 you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19 Live full lives, full in the fullness of God! Ephesians 3:14-19 (MSG)

Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2489-2496). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God’s saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on January 22, 2013, in Devotions and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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