Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love. Eph. 6:24
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Dear Lord Jesus, I need this charge from the apostle Paul like I need oxygen and water. For at times, my affections for you wane and chill, and I’m in constant need of reaffirming that you, alone, are worthy to be loved above all things and people.
This call to love you with an “undying love” is not a burden or performance. It’s simply the privilege we share living in response to the irrepressible, immeasurable, everlasting love with which you love us so lavishly.
There is no greater demonstration of love in the history of love and affection than your death for us upon the cross. Throughout eternity, we’ll feel as though we’re just beginning the survey of the wonders of your cross.
You didn’t lay down your life for deserving friends but for rebels, fools, and idolaters—like me. You love us, you’ve freed us from our sins by your blood, and you’ve made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God and Father forever (Rev. 1:5-6). Now, Jesus, please make the familiar sound of these words come alive with holy passion and fresh delight.
Your love for us is the one constant in our lives. Everything else changes. Everything else is subject to whim and fancy. Our brothers and sisters in heaven are more happy than we are, but they are not more loved. But our love for you ebbs and flows. Even as we first needed grace to respond to your love (Eph. 2:8-10), so we need grace to stay alive to your love, and to love you as you deserve to be loved.
Jesus, give us grace to love you with an undying love. May the cooling of our affections for you bother us more than the fragile economy, our broken relationships, political upheaval in the world, concerns about our health, getting older, or anything else. Jesus, don’t let us get used to status quo, middle-class, business-as-usual love for you.
If by the Holy Spirit we hear you saying to us this morning, “I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first” (Rev. 2:4), may it seem like a huge kiss from heaven; for it means you are pursing us, you love us, your desire is for us, your banner over us is love. That you are jealous for our love is the greatest compliment you could possibly pay us. Indeed, Jesus, restore to us the joy of being loved by you in the gospel. Restore us to loving you as your much beloved bride. So very Amen we pray, in your kind and glorious name.