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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY – A BAPTISM OF LOVE, A PASSION FOR CHRIST.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you,

being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. - Eph 3:14-19.

The goal of Scripture is an intensely personal love for Jesus possessing your whole being. The goal of redemption is your love-relationship, your love-life with Jesus. Christian living is living in love with Jesus. Prayer communion is looking lovingly into Jesus' eyes, thrilling to Jesus' voice, resting in Jesus' arms.

Christ's passionate lovers have bejeweled the history and heritage of the church. No Christian is greater than his love. Few today realize the intense devotion to Christ in the early church and in our sainted martyrs. The Holy Spirit can develop in us just as ardent devotion as He did in those days.

A. W. Tozer once said, "The great of the kingdom has been those who loved God more than others did." Those who have really looked into the face of Jesus cannot but be captivate by His love. Too often our love for Jesus is sadly impersonal.

We believe in His Person, we worship His Person, but we relate to Him far too impersonally. There is too much distance, a tragic remoteness in our fellowship. True, He is our infinitely holy God and we are but sin-deformed creatures before Him. He is our Sovereign King, and we bow before His majesty.

But He is also our Savior who loved us with such everlasting love that He forsook heaven's throne to become the incarnate Son of Man, to die for us, to redeem us for Himself and make us the special and eternal object of His love. Indeed, He came to make us collectively His bride and personally His beloved.

Let's humble ourselves before Him. Let's confess how cool and casual we too often have been in our expression of love to Him. Let's ask the Holy Spirit to give us a new baptism of love for Jesus. We need the Spirit's help to love, Jesus as we should.

Perhaps we have had too little of the Spirit's fullness to enable us to love with the personal ardor Jesus desires. All other passions build upon or flow from your passion for Jesus. A passion for souls grows out of a passion for Christ. A passion for missions builds upon a passion for Christ.

When Hudson Taylor was once asked what was the greatest incentive to missionary work, he instantly replied, "Love of Christ." William Booth's passion for helping the underprivileged, the derelicts of society, and for world evangelization was built upon his passion for Christ.

The most crucial danger to a Christian, whatever his role, is to lack a passion of Christ. The most direct route to personal renewal and new effectiveness is a new all-consuming passion for Jesus. Lord, give us this passion, whatever the cost! - ABLAZE FOR GOD.

My God, I love Thee; not because
I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love Thee not
Are lost eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me
Upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails, and spear,
And manifold disgrace,
And griefs and torments numberless,
And sweat of agony;
Yea, death itself; and all for me
Who was thine enemy.

Then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love Thee well?
Not for the sake of winning heaven,
Nor of escaping hell;
Not from the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as Thyself hast loved me,
O ever-loving Lord.

So would I love Thee, dearest Lord,
And in Thy praise will sing;
Solely because Thou art my God,
And my most loving King. - Francis Xavier, 1506-1552.

Loving Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit baptise me in your wonderful love, and let me have a passion for Christ in my life. I ask this in the wonderful and majestic Name of Jesus. Amen.

Be Encouraged!
GBYAY

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