For Those Who Love Him - The One Year Heaven on Earth Devotional
For Those Who Love Him
Read: James 2:1-9
Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? James 2:5
When several truths are packed into one biblical statement, which is almost always the case, at least one of them is likely to be overlooked. That’s certainly true of James 2:5, which seems to focus on the poor and their attraction to the Kingdom message. But James adds a phrase that reminds us of the true nature of this Kingdom. It isn’t just about the poor or those who believe or our inheritance. Which Kingdom is he talking about? The one God promised to those who love Him.
So this isn’t just a Kingdom for the poor—clearly, since the New Testament refers often to believers who have wealth. Neither is this a Kingdom that requires only faith and no other attitudes or affections to go with it. No, this is a Kingdom for those who love—specifically those whose hearts are intimately connected with the King Himself. It isn’t enough for this King to surround Himself with beings who obey His Word or believe in Him without also loving Him. His desire is for people to respond to Him from the heart.
Kingdom citizens often don’t understand that. We turn the gospel into an impossible standard of obedience or a mental agreement with its truths. We forget that God created us for love, sent His Son to die for us in love, and describes Himself as love incarnate. In other words, we forget to live with passion, letting our hearts be shaped by our love more than by our disciplines. And we miss the heart of the gospel.
Get it back. Whatever it takes, embrace passion for God as the driving force of your life. If you love Him well, you will follow Him naturally and instinctively. You will pour your life out for Him because it seems like the only reasonable response. And like everyone else who loves Him deeply, you will inherit the Kingdom, just as He promised.
ADDITIONAL READING: Matthew 22:36-38
We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.
JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE