II Thess. 3 5. “And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”
I love this verse. I’m going to put my commentaries and other resources aside this morning and just speak from my heart. Purely devotional.
Paul’s prayer was the the Lord would direct their hearts into the love of God. I’m looking at this sentence and asking the journalistic questions: Who, what, where, when, how, why?
Who: Two ways to look at this. The first “Who” is the Lord. Love for God must be learned, directed, taught, developed; it is the Lord Who will direct our hearts in this matter. Do you realize that loving God is not something with which we are born? Do you understand that the first and only love we have by nature is love of self? The first year or so of a baby’s life reinforces to him how valuable and important he is. There is very little understanding of anything outside the realm of his own wants, emotions, and physical comforts. We parents spend the next 18+ years of his life trying to convince him that he’s NOT the center of the universe. Part of that training is to educate him in the things of God. We need to teach them they are sinners, in need of a Savior. We need to pay attention to heart attitudes, never allowing selfishness, hatred, scorn, manipulation and all the other nasty traits that come packaged in the hard drive. Teaching and training have to be a part of every single day. I wish I could say I never missed a teachable moment.
The other “who” in this verse–well, that’s the heart of every human being, and especially the hearts of those who claim to know Him. How much do we really love Him? No, I mean really! How much of our day is given to considering Him and His handiwork? His Word? His sacrifice? His promise to us of a home in heaven with Him? When we say a quick grace before a meal, are we truly thankful to Him because we understand that every good and perfect gift come from Him?
What: What we need to be directed toward is to love God, and to love His coming. Simple. Think about it, though, and it’s not really simple at all. If we loved Him as we should, this nation would certainly be in a better place; our churches would certainly not be taking on the personality and characteristics of entertainment centers; the Word of God would still be preached in its fullness all across this land.
Where: This love is to be in our hearts; therefore, in our minds first. It is to show up in our behavior, words, and demeanor. Think about that.
When: Now. Right now.
How? Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our minds and hearts.
Why: Because He loved us, sent His Son to die for us, and prepares a home for us in heaven. Because He loved us before we knew Him, before we were even conceived.
Isn’t that enough?