One thing I’ve discovered about God: When He makes a plan, He never changes it. Therefore, though Adam and Eve bowed their knee to the devil, threw away God’s blessing, and opened the door to the curse, God refused to give up His original intent. He kept on declaring His will would eventually be done. He kept on telling His people they were destined to be a blessing and fill the earth with His love.
He told Abraham, “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3).
He spoke through the psalmist and said, “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous” (Psalms 112:1, 4).
He spoke through the prophet Isaiah of One to come who would be anointed with God’s own Spirit “to preach good tidings unto the meek; to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:1, 3).
Of course, every one of those declarations pointed to the coming of Jesus. He was Compassion’s plan—ordained before the foundation of the world to come into this painfully messed-up planet and set things straight again. He was the One destined to take upon Himself the sin, sickness, weakness and pain that had robbed mankind—and all the earth—of the blessing of God.
Jesus came to restore God’s original plan.
Do you realize what that means? It means those of us who have believed on Him have been restored to the spiritual position Adam and Eve occupied in the Garden of Eden. Through Jesus, we have received the same blessing and divine commission they did. We’ve been called to perpetuate God’s love in the earth, to fill it up with His compassion, to be a blessing everywhere we go, to everyone we meet!
That’s God’s plan for every New Testament believer.
God said it to Adam and Eve. He said it to Abraham. He said it to Jesus. And now He has said it to us. You are called to be a blessing! So wives, bless your husbands. Husbands, bless your wives. Love one another as I have loved you. Do good to all men. Bless, bless, bless!
Can you see now why walking in love is so important to God? It’s the reason He created us!
You may never have thought about it in just that way before but, the truth is, you already knew that. Every born-again believer does. I could stop a Christian on the street anywhere in the world and ask him if we, as believers, are supposed to love one another, and I’d get the right answer every time. Everyone knows Christians are called to live by the law of love.
Are we all doing it? No, we’re not. So, clearly there must be a problem. II Peter 3:1-2 tells us what it is. There the Apostle Peter wrote to people just like us—people who knew full well they were called by Jesus Himself to live by the law of love—and said: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: that ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour.”
If Christians in Peter’s day needed to be reminded to keep the commandment of love, we do too. Just like those first-century believers, sometimes we just plain forget to walk in love toward one another. We forget to make compassion our priority because we don’t keep it in the forefront of our thinking. We get our lives out of line with love because mentally we neglect to put first things first.
But, according to the Bible, we can correct that problem. We can stir up our pure minds by way of remembrance. We can build love into our memory so that we think of it before we get dressed in the morning. We can so renew our minds to it that we think of it when we leave the house every day, or sit down at the table to eat, and even before we go to bed at night.
When we keep love on our minds like that, it changes how we interact with people. No matter what they say or do to us, our first thought is to respond in love. If we disregard that thought by yielding to the flesh and acting in a way that’s unloving, we’ll immediately be aware that we’ve been disobedient, and we’ll repent. Then we’ll get right back on track.