1John 4:12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. (NASB)
You know, there’s only one way a human being can be perfect — and that’s “perfect in love.” Somehow, it seems some of those who hear my messages or read my blogs think that I’m saying they have to be perfect in the way natural people think of the word “perfect.” Perish the thought!
Oh, my dear friends, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, I’m not perfect as the world thinks of perfect. I am slightly overweight, and often over-eager and zealous to a fault, but it’s out of my love for Jesus. And there are times when I don’t communicate well (obviously). And there are times when I might misunderstand you. And there are times when something tumbles out of my mouth that I’d like to stuff back in there. Sometimes I’m like a Holy Spirit steamroller. But I don’t mean to be. I’m just EXCITED because of what Jesus has done in me, and what He wants to do in you!
You see, I love you, I mean really LOVE you, with God’s very love. That’s why I preach what I preach, and write what I write. I want you to discover God’s great gift — His Holy Spirit, by which He fills your heart with His very own love. Amazingly, He actually pours out His perfect love in your heart, so you can love Him with His perfect God-love! The outcome of loving Him with His love is this:
You no longer want to sin against Him. So you don’t willfully disobey Him any more. And you can love people with that love!
That’s what the Word of God says. That’s what HE can do in you. Isn’t it glorious? So, I’m not saying you have to be perfect as the world thinks of perfect, OK? But I’m saying that the Word of God says Jesus came and died to take away your past sins AND change your heart entirely, so you love God with God’s own love. Oh, it is a wonderful “God thing” that only He can do! For heaven’s sake, don’t try to be perfect as YOU think of perfect, and try to do it on your own! It’ll never work! Oh, but agree with Him that you need His love to fill your heart so you will obey Him, that you need His love so you can love others with His love, so you can have His love pour right out of you, so you can pour out His love back to Him, and He can pour out more to you, and you can pour more back to Him, in a continual, glorious exchange of love!
Oh, it is WONDERFUL! It is ESSENTIAL for the church, too. You see, we can’t work Jesus’ works (John 14:12) unless we are doing them with the very love of God in our hearts. We’ll be sounding gongs and clanging cymbals. Very unpleasant! Very unproductive! LOVE (His actual love in your heart) is the means by which all gifts of the Spirit operate and all fruit of the Spirit is produced and comes to maturity.
So, it’s really pretty easy. Just say, “Lord, I don’t have Your love in my heart, because I’m still sinning against you, even though I’ve received Jesus as my Savior. I know Your love will come in and fill me if I ask You. Your Word says You give the Holy Spirit to Your children when they ask you (Luke 11:13). I know that even after You have filled me with Your Spirit and Your love, You will continue to show me more and more, over my whole life, the depths of Your love. And you will make Your love show in me more and more. Fill me, fill me, fill me!”
See? Simple, but very hard to let go and trust that Father knows best. Do it — you’ll never regret it, and you will enter into a realm you couldn’t have dreamt or imagined.