But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 20-21
The greatest of all means to cast out all sinful love, is to keep the soul in the love of God, Jude 21, wholly taken up in admiring him, serving him, praising him, and rejoicing in him:
For God so loved the world that he gave… John 3:16
First you need to keep yourself in the love of God each and everyday. Christ gave himself for us because he loved us. Love is a very strong influence. It will cause you to do extreme things. The problem is we do not always love the right things. We love the things of this world, including people, more than God. Love becomes sinful when it starts competing with God’s love. What do you love?
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
We need to make sure our love of God is right. It will keep our love of others right if he is in first place. When our love of God is in its right place, it will seem “as though” we hate mother, father, brother, sister, husband or wife. There should be a stark difference in our human relationships and our relationship to God. God is jealous and nothing should come before God in our lives. “Keeping” yourself in the love of God implies effort. Keeping in naval terms refers to keeping the vessel on course. We need to make sure we stay on course with our love of God throughout the day. It is pretty easy to get distracted throughout the day and lose our love for the Lord.
If we admire and praise the Lord in prayer by talking to him and telling him how thankful we are, our love will not wane. Praying in the Holy Ghost and relying on him helps too. We also need to depend on the mercy of the Lord. When you humble yourself and need forgiveness for sin, you depend on the mercy of the Lord. That is God’s desire for our life. He does not want us depending on our righteousness. He gets joy out of us coming to him and depending on him.
What is the reason that the heart of man is more unwilling to embrace the Gospel than to acknowledge the equity of the law! Because there is more of God’s nature and perfection evident in the Gospel than in the law; because there is more reliance on God, and distance from self, commanded in the Gospel.
CHARNOCK – BORN 1628—DIED 1680
We need to truly depend on God and the Gospel to show how to love God. Yes, you do show your love for God by keeping his commandments. But you don’t do that to obtain favor or make a way to heaven for yourself. You do that because he puts the love of God in your heart. Believe the gospel and trust that completely. Keep yourself in the love of Calvary.