Advent II – Day 21 (The separation)

God is love[1], it is He that defines love. His love is pure and perfect, full of life, not bounded by man’s understanding, and yet in Christ, and through His word, the Lord gave us His definition, and showed us its way. This love only comes to us by His Spirit, grows in His abiding presence, and by knowing God’s perfect manifestation of love, Jesus Christ. Sure, humanity can show aspects of love as we are designed in His image, however our fallen nature, that which is driven by its own desires, fails us, and provides no ability to ascend this mountain. This ‘more excellent way[2]’, where it is not our giftings or abilities that count, rather how well we have divinely loved God, and others, is the true measure of heaven. The words of Christ that speak of knowing Him, in intimacy, and walking in His way, are the plumb lines that hang in eternity and judge us according to what lies within.

Our Lord is so gracious and knows we will struggle to walk in the love of God. He sees our hearts, and knows our will, and understands it is a tough walk, and so He sent His Spirit to fill us, to provide us with His very character of love…all we must do is to bend our will to His! This divine love suffers long and is kind; does not envy; does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, and sacrifices all.

This love is holy, and ultimately demands a walk of separation from the works of evil and the world. Calling us to walk closer to Him, maybe with faltering steps, but willing to lay down our lives to become full in this divine nature. In the end, this holy, divine love never fails, and its author will cause devotion to be judged. Patiently waiting, loving those who respond or do not respond to His heart for them, and yet the eternal covenant of love between our Father and us, is that which will stand. According to His divine nature, pure, and holy, when He returns, His perfect love will expose the darkened heart, and command it to begone from His presence – forever. Love, He is Holy, and the Lord has opened the door to enter it…it is the Lamb of God. This narrow way leads to a life overflowing in the glory of heaven, the love shared between the Father and the Son.  

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 2:13-15)

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:33-35)

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus said to them, “Have you understood all these things?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He said to them, “Therefore every scribe instructed concerning the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old.” (Matthew 13:46-52)

“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: or I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:31-46)

[1] 1 John 4:8

[2] 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13

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