Now to you who believe this stone is precious…
1 Peter 2:7
The world has little ability to truly understand the believer’s affection for Jesus. Our love for him comes from his Spirit who has poured his love into our hearts.
We love him because of the cross, for he suffered and died for us. His humiliation at the hands of his enemies, who hated him without reason, was for our salvation. The scourge of the whip he accepted for our redemption. The pain of crucifixion he endured for our justification. Though the mystery of the cross is great, at least this much we understand: that Christ willingly died the death of us all, taking the judgment of God for our sins upon himself out of his love for us.
We love him because of the effect of his salvation. He has reconciled us to God, taken away the shame of our sin, and given us new life within. He walks with us in fellowship and promises never to leave us. He calls us to a higher life than we could ever envision and strengths us as we walk in it. Our hearts are enlightened, our burdens are lifted, and our chains are fallen away because of him. For the healing of our souls, for the binding of our hearts, for the gift of friendship and peace, and for countless answered prayers, we love him. We love him for all of this and for the assurance that when our bodies are worn out, when our eyes are dim, and when everything on earth fades from view, he has promised us a new home, a new bodies, and eyes that shall never know a tear of sorrow.
We love Jesus because he is our God. The Creator of the heavens and the earth, the Sustainer of all that is, the Completer as well. In him is true and eternal greatness and power. We love him because he is worth loving, for he is light, life, righteousness, goodness, love, and truth. There is nothing false in him and all of eternity stands in awe of him. He is the Christ of God, the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father, God of very God. Were he never to have died for us, never to have redeemed us, we would still love him for he is worthy of love and devotion.
We see him, but the world does not.
…If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:3-6
There is a secret joy that the believer knows of rejoicing in the love of Christ. We have found the Holy One (really he has found us), and that alone is cause for celebration. We have been touched by true greatness and have been refreshed and filled with his love. One time seeing him clearly, earth has lost its allure, and the glory of the world fades to insignificance. What can the world offer in beauty and greatness, in love and in peace, that even begins to compare with Christ?
Lord, we are often tempted to adopt a worldly view of life, to trade in truth for trinkets, and life for diversions. We thank you for loving us and for giving life and hope. We thank you for dying for us. We thank you for the privilege that is ours to see you for who you are, if only from a distance. We praise your greatness and majesty. Give us the perspective of heaven, so that we can see the situations we face in this earthly life with divine clarity. Amen.