by Jon Walker
I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
When Jesus commands us to do something, he knows we cannot do it unless we are empowered by him – and so he joins his life with the Holy Spirit within us. Thus, «Christ lives in me.»
This new life within will take us where thoughts or feelings never will; it will enable us more than information or willpower ever can. We receive the love and life of Jesus, and he says, «Go and do the same.» As awesome and costly and everlasting as the Gospel is, it’s also this simple: We are transformed by the life of Christ released within us, and now we’re to show and tell others how Christ can live in them.
And isn’t it true that, for a while, this seems to be the easiest and most natural thing we’ve ever done? We get love from Jesus, and then we turn around and give it away to others.
But then, after a while, we find it gets more difficult. Old habits return. Memories come back, and the emotions attached to them emerge in ways that cause us to stumble or feel defeated.
No matter how hard we try, some days sheer willpower isn’t enough to be the new creation God says we are. And so we try harder, and things just get worse.
But God is relentless in his command to «love each other in the same way I have loved you» – personal and up-close, meeting needs of undeserving others, not attacking their faults. This is God driving us away from the self-generated, «try harder» love into his love that is freely given. This is where the Spirit of Love – himself – is able to teach us. «Not I, but Christ.»
We begin to see it is no longer «just I» doing the loving – that would be life under the Law. Success would bring self-commendation; failure would produce self-condemnation.
We learn to say in faith: «I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.» (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
What does this mean?
· Personal love – Since God’s love is personal, it must be personalized as us. God’s love becomes personal and meaningful to others when we allow God to touch them through us.
See the need; don’t criticize it – Oswald Chambers said in My Utmost for His Highest, «God never allows us to see another person at fault so we may criticize them, but only that we might intercede.» Intercessors do not ignore or deny fault or sin; they address the needs behind the faults and the sins. We love one another as God loves us when we come to others, not to take swings, but with prayerful, godly solutions. © 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.