Tidings for Tuesday

Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. Romans 15:30

The little expression ‘the love of the Spirit’ in our text is rather unusual. Normally, when we consider the love of God, we are considering the love of a good and kind Heavenly Father, whose very nature is love and whose love has been extended to undeserving mankind. The Father’s love is described wonderfully in the declaration of John 3:16 that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The love of our Heavenly Father is indescribable, incalculable, and unquestionable. We are often reminded in Scripture of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that His love was stronger than death, taking Him to Calvary on our behalf. We also know of His daily care and compassion for His own, of His delight to dwell among those who gather to His Name, and of His fervent desire that we might be with Him in Heaven to share its blessings and to behold His glory. The love of the Father and of the Son are precious to us. Although we don’t think so often of the love of the Holy Spirit, we know He loves us just as much as the other two Persons of the Deity, because love is of God.

The love of the Spirit is freely given. Freely does He strive with us to bring us to repentance and faith in Christ, in the total absence of any merit within us. Freely does He pour His power into us to change us from unprofitable rebels to profitable stewards, in the total absence of any ability within ourselves to change. Freely does He fill our hearts with love and appreciation for God, in the total absence of any interest on own part to return God’s love.

The love of the Spirit is fixed on an object. That object is the child of God. When He descended upon men and women at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to reside in each believer’s heart. He provides the direction and guidance for the daily life. He provides the wisdom to unfold the Word of God to us and to enable us to live in victory amid many enemies. He causes us to love the Lord’s people and to desire to serve them and to assemble with them according to our Lord’s commandments. In a very real and powerful and precious way, the Holy Spirit is devoted to those few in this world who have been redeemed.

Beyond being freely given and having a fixed object, the love of the Spirit is forever faithful. He is the God Who cannot lie nor break a promise. He is the God Who is always present with comfort and power whenever the Christian is in need. He is the God Who always cares about our burdens and griefs, Who always nourishes our souls from the deep resources of the Word of God, Who always keeps before us the Father’s desire that we would be conformed to the image of His Son.

Paul invoked the love of the Spirit as he urged the Romans to pray for him. Let the love of the Spirit direct our prayers today. -Jim MacIntosh

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