Implications of Love and Grace

“Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord,
    your salvation according to your promise;
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me,
    for I trust in your word.
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
    for my hope is in your rules.
I will keep your law continually,
    forever and ever,
and I shall walk in a wide place,
    for I have sought your precepts.
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings
    and shall not be put to shame,
for I find my delight in your commandments,
    which I love.
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love,
    and I will meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:41-48

This unique psalm is a cogent and masterful blend of prayer, proclamation, and resolve, and each is inextricably intertwined. The request is for a continuous outpouring of strong, unshakable love and all the effects of God’s sure, promised salvation. When God’s steadfast love comes to us by grace in Christ, it affects everything. Please, Lord…then…

When Christ’s love arrives, we are immersed in it, and His heart beat thrums ours. He regenerates us and our affections, and we enter eternal safety by His marvelous grace. He flows through our spirit veins, we pulse with His thoughts, His word our energy and sustenance. Our desires, our direction, our delights come under His spell and sway.

We learn to respond to opponents as He did, with unflappable steadiness and appropriate truth. Confidence in His love for us establishes our hope and commitment to follow Him forever. Our obedience keeps us in a wide place of blessing, discovery, and fulness. His love compels us to preach His gospel, and be bold about its power. Jesus’s love that wooed and saved us becomes in us an attraction to those who know Him not. (Isaiah 53:3-4,7; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21)

If the Lord has compassion on us with everlasting love, so should we have compassion on others. By grace He has forgiven us, so we should extend that grace and forgive those who trespass against us. His word that has come alive to us should readily be on our tongues to give to others. (Isaiah 54:8; Ephesians 4:32)

Have we staked Christ’s love permanently in and on our hearts? Have we fixed its transforming work into the way we speak and treat others? Do we wear it, adorn our service with it, show it off as our identifying characteristic? And how does it move us to relate to Christ Jesus and His word? What difference do the love and grace of Christ make in how I relate to those around me?

“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.” ~Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Lord, please bring Your steadfast love to me so it can have its way in my heart and life. Help me cling to Your word and respond to and initiate with others on the ground of Your kind and lavish grace. Teach me to love You as I ought, and others as You do.

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