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September 19, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.”— Ephesians 6:24 (NIV)
One of the interesting things about having older parents is that most of what I was exposed to as a child was not “trendy.” So while my friends grew up listening to Nirvana and Michael Jackson, I grew up listening to people like Celia Cruz, Elvis, and Lionel Richie. One of my favorite songs by Lionel Richie is “Endless Love,” which says, “This love I have inside, and I’ll give it all to you, my love . . . My endless love.”
Endless love is such a powerful, and quite frankly, daunting idea. It seems almost out of grasp for humans. But that’s exactly the kind of love Jesus has for us. His love for us is so endless that He came to make a way for us to experience it for all eternity. His love for us is so undying that He died for us to be able to live and walk in it. And that’s exactly the kind of love we must have for Jesus!
In our verse today, the term undying (aphtharsia) is more accurately translated as “incorruptible.” Theologian John Gill described this concept as, “With a pure heart; without dissembling; without hypocrisy. There could not be a more appropriate close of the Epistle than such a wish; there will be nothing more needful for us when we come to the close of life than the consciousness that we love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity . . . Better, far better then will be the evidence of such sincere love, than all the wealth which toil can gain, all the honors which the world can bestow.”
What the apostle Paul is saying is that our love for Jesus must be sincere. It must be genuine and it needs to be enduring. Like wedding vows, sincere love blossoms in sickness and health, in riches and poverty, for better or for worse. It grows stronger every day.
But the thing about sincere love is that it requires sincere surrender and humility. On my own, I could not sincerely love the Lord Jesus without the Spirit working in me. Nothing good lives in me apart from Christ. In fact, apart from Christ, I am a child of the prince of this world (John 8:42–44). But because of Christ in me, the hope of glory, I am able to love and know what real love is. And even with Christ in me, my old nature is still at work in me, thus requiring intentional, daily—and sometimes even minute-to-minute—surrender and heart cleaning.
DIG: What does sincere love look like?
DISCOVER: How have you seen others—in the Bible and in your life—demonstrate sincere love for Christ? How are you sincerely loving Jesus?
DISPLAY: Every day as you pray ask the Lord to help you clear out pride and selfishness, and to help you practice sincere love in humility and surrender.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.