“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
Jesus died to save us from our sins and to open up the gates of Heaven to His believers. The great atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ also opens up the promise of a new life for us today if we are willing to repent of our sins and surrender to His love.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
All over the world this week people will be celebrating Easter and the triumph of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t just die for our sins; Jesus rose from the dead in the Resurrection to show us His divine power over death. Jesus has power over all forms of corruption and sin and with so many Christians in the world you may wonder why is there still so much sin?
Baptism is the beginning of a new birth in Christ but in order for the power of God’s love to transform our hearts and our lives we must be willing to live in an intimate communion with Our Lord Jesus.
Where does that intimacy begin and how does it begin?
I will share with you a secret in my own spiritual life that has resulted in a deep, abiding love for Jesus and for all people.
It began with a conversation with God. It was over fifteen years ago when I heard God speak to my heart. I had been searching for God and one day as I was praying God asked me this question: “What is love?” I thought to myself I know what love is “Love is a feeling.” To this God replied “wrong”. So I asked “What is it then?” and God answered “Love is a choice”.
The rest of the conversation with God occurred without words through the power of the Holy Spirit. I realized that true love is beyond an emotion. True love manifests itself in our daily choices and the greater the love the more difficult the choice in all likelihood.
Consider how difficult it was for Jesus to allow Himself to be tortured and killed by crucifixion? In the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before Jesus was killed, Jesus prayed to the Father. “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Matthew 26:39
The humanity of Jesus prayed for relief from this horrific suffering, yet His divinity consented out of love –the greatest love the world has ever known and will ever know, the love of Our Saviour Jesus Christ united with God The Father and The Holy Spirit.
The words “Love is a choice” changed my life. I began to realize that I was making the obvious choices, i.e., to love those that loved me, but Jesus wanted much more!
“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” Luke 6:32-33
Jesus challenged me to reflect with great scrutiny on all my choices, including the choices I was not making. One of the big choices I made was to begin reflecting daily on the Passion of Christ. This daily devotion changed my life.
One of the things that inspired me and continues to inspire me is the way Jesus prayed during His crucifixion. Jesus prayed: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
The willingness of Jesus to make a choice to be crucified for my sins fills me with holy desire to please Him and make whatever choices He wills for me to make.
There were some people in my life that had hurt me and given they had never said “I am sorry” I felt quite justified in withholding my forgiveness. But as I began to reflect on a daily basis on the Passion of Christ I began praying for those that had hurt me and I received the grace to forgive.
We can pray the prayer ‘Our Father’ and not live it. To live it means we have to make choices to build God’s Kingdom on earth and we need to strive to become merciful like Jesus. We must be willing to forgive. We pray “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” but do we truly forgive in the manner in which we want to be forgiven?
Jesus had no sin but all of us are sinners and need the Holy Blood of Jesus to wash away the sins from our souls: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
This Easter I invite you into a mystery that has changed my life and I believe it will change your life too! I encourage you to stop daily to remember the Passion of Christ. See the Holy Face of Jesus disfigured, tortured for love of you and me and all souls that will believe in Him. Look into the eyes of Our Crucified Lord and see His love. Look at His sacred flesh so tortured for our salvation and reflect on this question:
“Are you making choices that prove your love to God and mankind?”
Obedience to God is in my humble opinion impossible if we don’t truly desire to please Him. Reflect on the Passion of Christ and fall in love with your Saviour Jesus Christ!
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood–to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” Romans 3:25
What a gift of love—salvation for our sins! Lose sight of the price of the gift and suddenly the gift may be taken for granted.
We learn by example and we also learn by repetition. So I encourage you to never let a day go by without reflecting on the example of Jesus Christ. Jesus gave all so we can be free…free from the bondage of sin, free from the power of evil.
Please join the global peace movement called A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ
This peace movement is a prayer movement that is uniting Christians all over the world in a daily moment of prayer and remembrance of the Passion of Christ at the Hour of Mercy – The Time Jesus died for us, 3pm (in our local time zones). At this time we stop to pray and to remember the greatest love of all, the love of God incarnate, Jesus Christ! We unite as One Body of Christ to pray for all souls. We pray for Jesus to send His Holy Spirit upon our broken and sinful world to heal our divisions and silence the power of evil so we can truly make the choices that please God…the choice called LOVE!
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10