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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

As He First Loved Me



God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

—Romans 5:8 (NIV)



We are God’s passion. Jesus gave His highest for us. There is nothing more He could have given. His passionate love bought us freedom the power from sin, sickness, and death, and conveyed to us the gift of His righteousness (Colossians 1:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21). He held nothing back from us. His fervent Grace was costly. It cost Him everything, and even though His Grace cost us nothing, it calls us to love as He first loved us (1 John 4:19). But it is difficult to love the way He first loved us when we don’t understand the love we have received from Him—when we don’t know the new person Christ has made us.


Have I allowed His Grace to change my understanding from the old person I once was? Or have I allowed my failures, problems, and even memories of the old person I was before Christ to hold me back?  When I believe in my heart the passion of His love for me—when I believe the complete change He has made in my life—when I see myself as He sees me, I am overwhelmed with His love. I am convinced the old me is gone. I freely receive, and I am free to love as He first loved me (Matthew 10:8). There is nothing I would ever deny Him. His passionate love flows without hesitation. 


In 1 Kings 19:21, Elisha, having been chosen by Elijah, walks away from all he has. He destroys what is left in his life that might draw him back from his call. He accepts the cloak and purpose of his master without hesitation. Jesus calls me to let go of the bondage of the past that once defined me. He calls me to let go of what has kept me from understanding the righteousness He has given me—to believe by faith in the miracle of His life for mine. With that surrender, I receive the revelation of who He is within me. I am fueled by His passionate Grace. On the Cross, He declared that I was His ultimate passion. When I believe who He is in me, I declare that He is my ultimate passion. I walk away from all I have believed myself to be. I accept who Jesus says I am.


Do you believe what His passion has given you? Abandon who you have believed yourself to be. Leave behind the lies of your old life. Be transformed by the truth of God’s Word, and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you the new person you are in Christ (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23, John 16:13). Read the Apostle Paul’s explanation of what Grace has given you throughout his letters in the New Testament. Believe who Christ says you are. Just as Elisha accepted Elijah’s cloak, accept Christ’s identity as your own. Hold nothing back. Surrendering is only costly when you do not believe the cost of what He has given you. When you believe the Truth that you are new and complete in His love, you flow in His Grace. You hold nothing back. With your surrender comes the greatest fulfillment—the belief that your loving Father lives and breathes within you. 


While you were yet a sinner, Christ gave His life for you. The work of your redemption is finished. You are now new and complete in Him. You hold nothing back when you believe the depth of His passion for you. Your whole perspective changes. Your love for Him flows out of you like rivers of living water (John 7:38).  It can never be contained. He fuels your passion to love as He first loved you. 


© 2022 Lynn Lacher

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