Overcoming the Problem of Cold Love

Daily Devotional: Day 181

“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13, NKJV).

Have you been in a relationship with someone (maybe a friend, a fiancé or a spouse) and you noticed that your love him or her love for you was growing cold? In modern parlance, we call it growing apart. Physically, you may be in the same place, even running into each other often; yet you sense that your relationship is not where it is supposed to be.

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, “If two people in a close relationship grow apart, or if they grow away from each other, they gradually begin to have a less close relationship, usually because they no longer have the same interests and want the same things” (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/grow-apart).

Today’s passage is part of Matthew’s account of Jesus’ prophecies about signs of the end times (Matthew 24:1-51). Remember, we’ve been in the end times at least since the Day of Pentecost. Jesus says that one sign to look for in the end times is that lawlessness will abound, and the love of many will grow cold. Lawlessness simply means the breaking of God’s commandments or sinfulness. But Jesus adds, “he who endures to the end shall be saved.” This means the one whose love for Jesus remains fervent to the end, he shall be saved. In John 14:15, Jesus said the way to show your love for Him is to keep His commandments. Therefore, those who endure to the end and are saved, are those who remain faithful to the Lord’s commandments to the end. For Jesus, the only acceptable love is fervent love, not cold love. You can probably relate to that.

Furthermore, notice that Jesus says, “the love of many will grow cold.” He didn’t say, “the love of a few will grow cold.” Therefore, Jesus isn’t anticipating a great worldwide revival where most people are going to be on ‘fire’ (figuratively) for the Lord. The opposite will happen; in fact, it is already happening.

Who are the people Jesus is referring to when he says their love will grow cold? They are people (Christians, believers) who at some point loved the Lord fervently and kept His commandments. But later, due to lawlessness (i.e. transgressing God’s law), their love for Jesus gradually grows cold. In other words, they and the Lord grow apart. It takes two to have a working relationship. If the two parties have different interests or want different things, the relationship will eventually grind to a halt. It happens in marriages and friendships. Our relationship with Jesus is no different.

Let’s be thankful for the prophetic warning of Jesus. As the saying goes, “Forewarned is forearmed.” Let’s watch our love.

The peace of the Lord be with you today! Amen.

For further study: Revelation 2:1-7

Star Life

Daily Devotional: Day 51

“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3, KJV).

Today’s Scripture is part of the revelation given to the prophet Daniel concerning the end of the world. Much was revealed to Daniel, but our focus today is about what the Bible says will happen to those whose names are written in the Book of Life. The Word of God gives us a two-fold description of those who shall be spend eternity with God. First, the Bible says that they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament. The same Bible tells us in Proverbs 9:10 that, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” This means, the Bible defines a wise man as one who fears the Lord. The person who fears the Lord submits himself to God and his holy Word, careful to obey God and stay from iniquity. As you fear God, you grow in God’s wisdom. When Christ appears, the Bible says, the wise shall shine as brightly as the firmament. This is a manifestation of the glory reserved for those who fear God.

The Bible also says that those who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever. Again, this is the expression of the glorious life that is reserved for God’s children – those who lead others into the righteousness of God. Many people in life walk in darkness, deceived by the world and Satan. God wants us to lead people away from ungodliness and help them turn to Jesus for salvation. We do this by our example and teaching. For our reward, when Jesus appears, we shall shine as stars forever. Don’t be ashamed to spread the light of God’s truth. Great is your reward when you lead people to the truth of Christ Jesus. Think of how brightly the stars shine. The Bible isn’t talking about the fading glory of sports stars, TV personalities or movie stars. God will make you shine forever like the stars of heaven. Think about it. And you’ll realize that you don’t need validation from this world. Your true glory comes from above.

 Prayer:

Thank you, Daddy, for the glory that shall be revealed when Christ returns. Grant me wisdom, knowledge and boldness to live as a Christian and to point souls to your truth. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. 

For further study: Romans 8:16-30

Ready for a Change?

Daily Devotional: Day 49

“Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Corinthians 15:51-52, KJV).

The word mystery is translated from the Greek word mystērion. It means, among other things, a secret, i.e. something hidden, known only to members within a group. A mystery is no longer a mystery once it’s revealed to us. It remains, however, a mystery to those outside the group. Christian mysteries, for example, are revealed for the understanding and edification of believers; but unbelievers can’t comprehend these mysteries (See 1 Corinthians 2:6-16). Plenty of divine mysteries are revealed to us in the Bible. Today, Apostle Paul talks to us about one of them: the changing of our perishable bodies into imperishable bodies. Look at your body, from the hair on your head to the toes of your feet. What you just saw, to use a fancy tech terminology, is Version 1.0 of your body. This is the body that shall be changed. Currently, the only person with a Version 2.0 body (i.e. a resurrected body) is Jesus Christ. When he returns, then our body, too, shall change from perishable (Version 1.0) to imperishable (Version 2.0).

Christ Jesus shall return anytime, so be ready. The Bible says that we shall not all sleep, i.e. die. When Jesus appears, some of us – believers – will still be alive in this world, but others would have already died. Nonetheless, all believers, alive or dead, shall be changed. This change, the Bible says, shall happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. The word moment is translated from the Greek word atomos. It means indivisible. The change in your body shall, therefore, happen quicker than you can say the word “hi.” The last trumpet shall sound without warning, and the dead in Christ shall be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. This is the basis for your hope in Christ. It’s the basis for your joyful expectation of Jesus’ return. It’s also your motivation to yield your current body to God as an instrument of righteousness (See Romans 6:12-14). Your brand new imperishable body shall not be subject to corruption: no more makeup; no more anti-aging products; no more wrinkles; no more weight control; no more doctor’s appointment; no more pain; no more dying. Get ready for the change.

Prayer:

Dear Father, thank you for sealing me with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption. Thank you for the resurrection of Jesus and my share in it. Fill my heart with ardent expectation of Christ’s appearing.  In the name of Jesus. Amen. 

For further study: 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

Stay Motivated. Expect Jesus.

Daily Devotional: Day 39

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when he [Jesus] shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:2-3, KJV).

Expectation triggers motivation. And motivation leads to preparation. If you’re not expecting anything or anyone, you prepare differently or you don’t prepare at all. Whatever you’re hoping for (expecting) in life motivates you to prepare accordingly. This can be applied to many aspects of life including marriage, career, vocation, academia, etc. We must not underestimate the power of expectation. When you’re looking forward to something of value, it keeps you motivated. This creates the incentive to put in all the work necessary for welcoming that reality. If, however, you’re not looking forward to anything worthwhile, you feel like there’s nothing to live for; this can trigger lethargy and unhappiness. In short, you stay motivated when you have a worthy goal in view. The same is true of our relationship with Jesus. This brings us to today’s Bible passage, in which John urges the children of God to stay motivated through constant expectation of Jesus.

Expectation of Jesus’ coming is a great motivation for living a holy life, i.e. keeping yourself pure from the contamination of sin and the lusts of the flesh. Today, not many professed Christians value a life of holiness. No wonder, because few professed Christians today can be said to be actively looking forward to the coming of Jesus. The point is, the degree to which you’re expecting Jesus greatly influences the degree of your preparation to meet Jesus. John says anyone who is expecting to meet Jesus keeps himself pure as he [Jesus] is pure. The context here is about moral purity. The Bible’s logic is simple: Jesus is pure. When he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. If we truly have this hope, naturally, we’ll feel motivated to keep ourselves pure. Let’s stay motivated. Let’s prepare to welcome Jesus. 

Pray:

Daddy, thank you the privilege to be called your child. I know that I’m yours now. And when Jesus is revealed, I shall be like him for I shall see him as he is. By your Spirit in me, enable me to prepare for Christ’s coming by keeping myself pure. With you, all things are possible. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

For further study: Romans 8:16-39