February 16, 2018 Friday after Ash Wednesday
Isaiah 58:1-9; Psalm 51; Matthew 9:14-15
This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly… Isaiah 58:6
How does our Father think? Does he just want us to keep a lot of laws, regardless of how they affect us
or others? Or are all of his laws based on compassion and concern for us, his children, and for the good of everything on the planet?
“God is love.” So everything he does and desires is love. To “keep his commandments” and to “abide in love” are interchangeable—“those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them” (John 15:10; 1John 4:16).
When we know that, we have come a long way toward knowing the Father.
For Jesus, obeying the Father was an experience of loving and being loved: “I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” When Christ dwells in our hearts through faith—which is the divine knowledge that keeps us in conscious relationship with God as Father—we are “rooted and grounded in love.” To know this love fully is to “be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18).
That is what it means to know the Father.
ACTION: Pick any three of the Father’s commands and ask how keeping them is—or can be—an experience of loving and being loved.
PRAYER: “Lord, deal with me according to your constant love, and teach me your desires” (see Psalm 119:124).