During this season of Advent, we will be taking a break from our study in the Book of Mark and will instead offer daily devotionals for you to read aloud with your family, pertaining to this Advent season. We will resume our study of Mark after the first of the New Year.
The Limit of Love
“. . . a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
Holidays tests the limit of our love. Frustrated family members, cranky kids, irritable spouse, irritating relatives, all have a way of draining every ounce of love from our heart. They cause us to realize there’s a limit to our ability to love others. The testing of our limits is a good thing, it’s how we find our point of dependence. It’s where we discover the path to die to ourselves.
Get honest about your hang-ups.
The first step is to admit we have parts of our nature that need to be crucified. Then, we place ourselves completely under the control of the love of Christ, beholding His presence and becoming so caught up in His purposes that our old ways are starved out. We nourish the love of God by thinking about whatever is true and honorable and praise worthy. As we do, a new love and new capacity to love others is created.
Go with the spirit of Jesus.
Crucifying the flesh is not an end to itself, it’s the removal of a roadblock on the highway of freedom. To walk in the Spirit is to live one’s life in accordance with the mind of Christ, daily driven by the question “What would Jesus have me do?” In life, we don’t attempt to produce every virtue of Christ. By welcoming Christ into our life, He brings all He is into our life, like a well springing up into everlasting life. When that stream begins to flow, one begins to live in the love of Christ.
In our new nature, Christ’s presence is a power for daily cleansing and constant renewal. Christ’s presence is a growing power. Our spiritual life continues to grow until the unconditional love of Christ begins to flow though our life. Christmas is our starting place for the power of God’s love. His Spirit comes at birth, we welcome Him into our heart, and are born again. It’s His Spirit that sets us free to love with His love.
“Lord, it’s hard to love those around me, I admit there’s a limit to my love. I yield fully to You to create in me Your love and Your ability to love.”