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2011 Annual Conference 40-Day Devotional Guide: Day 3

May 5, 2011

Staying in Love with Jesus Christ

I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live; yet not I but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I lived by the faith of the Son of God, who love me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2: 20 (KJV)

Throughout the teachings in the Bible, God constantly reminds Christians of the vast importance of love. God teaches us that love must have a dominant presence in our born-again lives. God teaches us to love our neighbors as we would ourselves (Matthew 22:39); to possess a loving spirit (Galatians 5:22); and to even love our enemies (Luke 6: 27-28). But perhaps the most rewarding love that Christians can experience is the love of and for Jesus Christ. In fact, Christ emphasizes his role as the one and only intermediary between Christians and God the Father when he says, “I am the way, the truth, and life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) That scripture passage underscores the necessity for all Christians to have a genuine, loving relationship with Jesus Christ.

Once an individual believes that Christ died for his or her sins and accepts Christ as his or her Lord and Savior, he or she must then embark on the task of remaining steadfast in his or her relationship with Christ. More specifically, Christians must recognize that there are many barriers that attempt to block us from staying in love with Jesus. The Christian journey is certainly not an easy one. Life’s tribulations, disappointments, and heartaches can sometimes be so overwhelming that we, even as Christians, can be tempted to turn away from Christ, lose faith, and fall into earthly destruction and despair. It is yet more disheartening when even some of our spiritual leaders get so caught up in self-gratification and worldly rewards that they too leave Jesus out of the equation.

Yet there is hope. When Christians feel the evil workings of Satan place doubt in their hearts about their relationship with and love for Christ, they can turn to the word of God which assures us of Christ’s enduring love (Romans 8:38-39). The depth and power of Christ’s love does not stem from anything that we as Christians have done. We have not done one single thing to make ourselves deserving of Christ’s love. The presence of Christ’s love in our lives was initiated by God and God only (John 3:16). When Christ accepted the task to die for our sins, he did it not to reward us for any great deed that we did, but because he loves us simply for who we are. No earthly possession, whether it be financial wealth, political power or influence, physical beauty, or a charming personality, can earn you a loving relationship with Christ. A person experiences the love of Christ by accepting him as Lord and Savior of his or her life. We should be overjoyed and evermore thankful that we have the privilege to accept the love of and stay in love with Christ.

Perhaps one of the most well-known and powerful reminders of why so many Christians find the encouragement and strength to stay in love with Jesus Christ was expressed simply yet so eloquently by the hymnist when he wrote, “Oh How I love Jesus, Oh How I love Jesus, Oh How I love Jesus – because he first loved me.”

Prayer: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, thank you for your grace, mercy, and never-ending love for us in our daily walk to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Harold Gregory Bryson
Stanley UMC
Chattanooga District

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May 5, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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