Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Master The Tempest Is Raging"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)
What do car washes and love have in common? This isn't a joke; it's to get us thinking.
Obviously, both improve life: of vehicles, or of people. But that's not what I had in mind that day when I stood at the carwash mulling over the range of offers. The deluxe package provided the best protection, including an undercarriage wash, waxing with clear-coat ultraviolet protectors, and tire shine. I chose the deluxe. It was a friend's car; that's what she wanted. As for my car, rain is usually good enough. But that won't work for people.
Love, like a car wash, comes in a wide range of packages from basic to deluxe. That's why it does little good to keep pleading, "We need more love!" What does that mean? What exactly do you want? Is it an occasional rain shower or the deluxe package with everything? What would that "everything" include? Do you even know what you need for the challenge you have in mind? If you do, I'm sure that you'd see that nothing short of the best, top-of-the-line love package will do.
So, what is the top-of-the line, deluxe love package? As Christians, we can surely agree that God Himself is just that. God is love! God, through His Son's death and resurrection, is the love gift, complete with all that we need to freely and effectively be and do what we're called to. That's a lot! Dear Christians, God's love — the full deluxe package — is our best shared asset!
It grieves me to see God's people struggling through conflicts on barely the "economy" love-package. They desire little more than civility. That's like driving down a rugged road in an ill-prepared vehicle. It's bound to break down.
God's love is the full-orbed, deluxe offering that we need — and, in view of humanity's grave sin condition, nothing less will do. Any abridged version of divine love will fail us; so will the various love-packages offered in this world. We need it all: God as the full-orbed gift of love to humanity — God as fully God.
Dare we ask for it all? Why not! It's simply a matter of faith:
Matthew 21:22 – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. (NIV)
Romans 5:5b – God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)
In other words, if you are convinced that only the full, complete offering of God's love will do, then that's what you'll "order". And it's all yours — for free! It's all accessible through the gift of His Spirit operating in all who put unreserved trust in Him.
So, in faith, I invite you to join me in prayer:
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we long to be firmly and fully established in the all-encompassing dimension of Your covenant love. We want every facet of our being to be under the influence of Your magnificent, merciful lovingkindness. Empower us to take hold of it all, that we may be transformed, equipped to be effective agents of change in our broken world. Amen.