In I John 4:19 we find this instructive and beautiful truth, namely, "We love him, because he first loved us." This not only explains why we love God, but also how it is possible for us to love Him. Because God loves us He causes us to love Him. That is why Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that we can put on the breastplate of faith and love (II Thessalonians 5:8 ).
Love of God will keep us safe when Satan and his army try, as they constantly are trying, to get us to hate God, and to repeat Adam's sin of doing what God forbids. The love God has for us produces in us love for God. And that love, as well as faith, is the breastplate that protects us when Satan attacks us through men and things. Love of God enables us to be Christians and to protect ourselves spiritually from all the attacks of antichristians. Satan is antichristian, for the word "anti" means "against." And being against Christ is to be against God, Who sent Him for our salvation. Christians have Christ by His Spirit in them. Antichrists and antichristians have Satan as their father. They constantly go against Christ. But through Christ God implants love for Him in us and hatred against Satan and his army.
Christ revealed to us His love for us when He laid down His life on His cross. He did this with a view to implanting the love of God in us. And when He implants that love of God in us, we are willing to die at the hands of the enemy, even as He did, and to continue to walk in love toward God.
The awesome question, therefore, is whether you do love God. The question is not merely whether it looks as though you love God. The question is whether you do love Him, and are willing to fight all the attempts of Satan to get you to walk in halted towards God. By all means let the love of God, given you through Christ, make you resist all temptations to walk in sin. Let your love of God be the shield that protects your soul, and produces a walk of love toward God.
Quote for Reflection:
"Those who have properly studied and learned the Catechism, are generally better prepared to understand and appreciate the sermons which they hear from time to time, inasmuch as they can easily refer and reduce those things which they hear out of the Word of God, to the different heads of the catechism to which they appropriately belong, whilst, on the other hand, those who have not enjoyed this preparatory training, hear sermons for the most part, with but little profit to themselves." -- Zacharias Ursinus (Author of the Heidelberg Catechism), What is Catechism?
- Date: 20-November