When we let our hearts be nourished in God’s infinite love, our resolve is strengthened and we find great courage. This is a vital spiritual key for our soul to resist the tryanny that I talked about last time. As the song goes, “You make me brave!” I was pondering this in my devotions last week when reading the following in Second Thessalonians.
I really like how The Passion Translation rendered this verse.
5 Now may the Lord move your hearts into a greater understanding of God’s pure love for you and into Christ’s steadfast endurance. (2 Thess. 3:5 TPT)
What struck me here is how having a greater revelation of God’s love for me gives me His endurance. Paul tells us endurance is an attribute of love. The Amplified Bible describes it this way:
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. (1 Cor.13:7 AMP*)
The strongest attribute of heaven is love! A person who carries the atmosphere of “I am loved” is the most fearless and strongest person there is. We’ve seen that in a parent’s indefatigable love for their children, or that for a spouse—overcoming great obstacles that would normally be insurmountable, all because of love.
As we walk in the Father’s love by abiding in Christ’s love, His love drives out all our fear. Again, the Amplified Bible helps us here.
18 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. (1 John 4:18 AMP*)
In other words, being fearful reveals to us that we have not yet experienced God’s love at a deepest heart level. To the degree we fear is the degree to which we still haven’t reached the “full maturity of love.” We’re still lacking in our experience of what it means to be loved by God.
So, the best way to be a radical for heaven is to walk in a greater awareness of His radical and reckless love for you!
How I walk in this love is by learning to be constantly nourished in God’s love for me. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you know that my foundational life passage in the Bible is John 15:9-12. There is nothing more important for us to know than the following:
9 “I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts. 10 If you keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love. 11 My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness!
12 “So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. (John 15:9-12 TPT*)
This love was the reality that Jesus walked in during His earthly ministry (see verse 10 above). His command is that we do the same. And there’s nothing burdonsome about being nourished in and empowered by God’s infinite love, which results being filled with His joy and overflowing gladness! His yoke is easy!
And there’s something compelling about a person who knows they are loved. They not only have a healthy sense of self-worth, they attract the same in others. Jesus was compelling to the people He came into contact with, not because He was God the Son, but because people felt loved, noticed, and heard when they were with Him. And He could do this because He carried the atmosphere of heaven that says, “I am loved!”
There is no virtue-signaling or hidden agendas, just undiluted, other-centered, self-giving love. And we can walk in this same love that Jesus walked in because He loves us the same as the Father loves Him, and we are in Him!
23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:23 NIV)
In this way we participate in the divine nature, by which we escape the bondage and lies of the enemy and find real freedom and pure joy!
4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pet.1:4 NIV*)
Since I mentioned the song, “You Make Me Brave,” I’ve included the children’s version of the song below. Let these words crash over your soul and make you brave. Be loved!
Cause You make me brave
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the love that made a way