“Love waits and anticipates while fear runs away and exaggerates.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today –April 17, 2023
It was early on Sunday morning when Jesus came back to life, and the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene—the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. She found the disciples wet-eyed with grief and exclaimed that she had seen Jesus, and he was alive! But they didn’t believe her! Mark 16:9-11, TLB
The disciples had already run away in fear for their lives, but Mary Magdalene had already surrendered her life to Christ with immovable loving devotion. She was transformed by the Lord’s love that cast out her fears along with seven demons. Love waits and anticipates while fear runs away. Mary Magdalene totally trusted in Jesus that He would do what He promised, “rise again after three days,” she was reassured since she had experienced Jesus bringing her back to life from being dead in her sins. Controlled by demons of fear and shame, now set free by divine love and forgiveness. Mary couldn’t be moved as forgiveness moved her to love much.
Charles Spurgeon accurately and passionately celebrates Mary Magdalene’s love for Jesus, “Mary’s heart was set on one object. Like an arrow shot from the bow, she sped right onto the target of her heart’s desire. And oh, if Christ is your one and only love, if your heart has cast out all rivals, if your spirit seeks Him, and cries out for the Lord—even for the living God—you shall soon come and appear before God…What love was this! Brethren and sisters, if we would see Jesus, we must love Him much. I would tell God I loved Him as my heart desires to love Him. I hope you can say, ‘Yes, I love Thee, and adore; Oh, for grace to love Thee more!’”
“Therefore, I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little” (Luke 7:47, NKJV).
Fear runs and exaggerates, while love waits and anticipates. Fear says you are a failure. Love says that since you have remained faithful, you are successful. Fear rejects; love accepts. Fear says you don’t matter. Love says you are precious and beloved. Fear obsesses over “what ifs.” Love is hopeful over “what could be.” Fear strives, and love abides. Abide in love, and fear will move away from influencing you, feeling unwelcome and uncomfortable in the presence of Jesus Christ. Others you know may drift away from God and maybe even bolt away in unbelief; if so, remain anchored in love, and one day those who went away may return longing for true love.
A Holy Spirit heightened awareness of how the Father, Son, and Spirit have loved you, are loving you, and will love you is a guaranteed state of mind and heart to grow your generous heart of love. Like Mary, abide in Jesus, and the demons of fear will flee. And, like her, you may be in the presence of who you think is a gardener, but in reality, you are in the presence of your loving Lord Jesus. Keep pursuing Christ, especially when your spiritual vision is clouded. His love will reveal Himself to you. The Spirit speaks through others in your life, especially when you are having trouble seeing God at work in your life. Look for Jesus even among the dead, as His heart is to bring the spiritually and physically dead back to life. Love waits and anticipates…God’s love!
“She glanced over her shoulder and saw someone standing behind her. It was Jesus, but she didn’t recognize him! ‘Why are you crying?’ he asked her. ‘Whom are you looking for?’ She thought he was the gardener. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will go and get him.’ ‘Mary!’ Jesus said. She turned toward him. ‘Master!’ she exclaimed” (John 20:14-16, TLB).
Heavenly Father, help me stand firm and immovable in your love for me and my love for you, anticipating by faith that your best is yet to be, through Christ’s love, and in Jesus’ name, amen.
Is love requiring you to remain faithful to the Lord and to those he loves in the face of a hard, uncertain situation?
Kristian Stanfill: We Need People
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