We are not the source of this love we carry for Christ. He is. The only love we humans carry is corrupted love. We offer our love to our loved ones with every intention of giving the best we can give, but the best we can give was corrupted at the Fall. We enter into relationships determined to demonstrate how much we are in love, but soon discover our undying love is not as undying as we believed. Even in our best, most loving moments, if we scratch the surface we find within our human love that which is conditional or self-motivated.
So it is with loving Christ. When first He finds us, we think we have found Him. When He brings forth good fruit in us we think we are laying down our lives, when it is His life in us that is actually being manifested. When we worship Him we think it is because we have learned to love Him, when He Himself is the source of that great love we feel for Him. We are not capable of loving Him as He is entitled to be loved, yet through His mysterious grace He enables us to love Him as we should.
In a similar fashion we look back over our journey and see, from a distance, the many traps and hurdles upon which we have stumbled. We think it is our yielding that has brought us so far, when it is actually the power of His keeping.
We are where we are because, providing we are willing, He has kept us. He is both Lover and the source of Love. He takes the five loaves and two fish we bring to Him and multiplies so that there is more than enough. He brings us His perfect Love and out of its flow enables us to love Him perfectly. Out of our limitations He calls forth overflowing abundance.
In His last recorded prayer shortly before His crucifixion, Christ asked the Father to keep those who are His, just as He had kept them while He was on the earth (John 17:11). In all aspects of our lives in which we are growing and maturing spiritually, it is because we are being kept by the power of God (1 Peter 1:5). How can we in our self-focused independence even grasp such a concept? God is deeply committed to the ‘keeping’ of us.
Lord, teach us what it means to be a people who are “kept”.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Saviour, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:25