Monday, August 26, 2013

A Bastion of Love

Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God; expect and patiently wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which will bring you unto life eternalJude 1:21 AMP

What do you think of when you hear the word guard? I picture soldiers in armor with weapons standing watch over some castle or perhaps in front of a room in which are stored treasures or maybe outside the door of a great king. Okay, yes, I have a vivid imagination.  You may picture a security guard at a bank or in a building late at night or maybe even a big Pit Bull guarding a home.

Either way to guard means to protect something valuable. The dictionary says it is to

to keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over
to keep under control or restraint as a matter of caution or prudence 
If you've been a follower of Jesus for a while then you know very well that we are all engaged in a huge battle being fought  for the souls of men. We can't see this battle or experience it in our natural realm, but we can sense it, feel it, and even suffer the repercussions of it.  We Christians live in enemy territory, behind enemy lines. I don't think enough of us truly realize that or think about it during our day.  
Yet throughout the Scriptures we are told to "guard" to "watch" to be on the lookout. 
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8 

Be sober!  Pay attention!! Don't get lazy. Don't let your guard fall down. Not for a minute! What are we guarding against?  What does our adversary want? He wants us to turn away
from God. He wants to lure us into wickedness until it eventually destroys us. We are his prime targets, not unbelievers. And he's really good at what he does! 

Jude says to guard ourselves with God's Love.  Not guard yourself with armor, not guard yourself with knifes and spears and pistols, not guard yourselves by going to church every Sunday, saying your prayers every day... but Guard yourself with God's love. 

How do you guard yourself with love? How can love keep you from drifting away from God and following the siren's call? How can love keep you from giving into the temptations of this world that seem so very strong at times?  

I didn't have a good father. In fact, save for a few visits, once when I was 4 or 5 and once when I was 16, I've never seen my father.  If he suddenly called me up and told me that I must NEVER EVER have another sip of wine, that it was bad for me and I'd be punished for it if I didn't listen to him, how motivated am I to do what he says the next time a glass of wine is placed before me?  I have no relationshp with him. I don't know him. To me, he just seems like a unfeeling tyrant trying to ruin my fun. 

Now, what if I had a good father? What if my father had cherished and loved me since even before I was born? He never missed a ballet performance or an open house at school or a piano recital. Every day when he came home from work, he swept me in his arms and showered me with kisses. He helped me with homework, spent hours talking with me, listening, encouraging and giving advice. He chastised me when I was wrong but he never raised his voice. His punishments were just and done in love. He always had time for me. His face always lit up when I walked in the room. I was his
Princess.  Now, suppose this father came to me one day and told me to never have another sip of wine because it would eventually ruin me.  What is my reaction then?   I know my father loves me. How? Because we have a very close relationship. He's always been there for me, putting my best interests first. So, I gladly do what he says.  

This is what it means to guard yourself in the love of Christ. When you have a personal friendship with the Lord Jesus and you know beyond a doubt how much God loves you and you've experienced years of his tender correction and care and blessing, you WANT to do what he says.  Because you know what he says is best for you and you know he is operating out of his love for you. 

Why do so many Christians fall? Why do so many believers get off into the wickedness of the world? Because they haven't guarded their hearts in the love of God. They haven't taken the time to get to know Him, to experience His love for them. Like any relationship, that takes time and effort, and most people are just too busy with more important things. 
Do yourself a favor this week. Take some time, get with God, and ponder His love for you. Ask Him to show you His love and bring to remembrance all the times He's been there for you. 
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; 1 John 3:1


  1. Monday, Aug 26th,
    "Morning, MaryLu."
    "A Bastion of Love" ... excellent post today, MaryLu !!! I really appreciated all that you shared.
    Knowing this Heavenly Father, the enormity of His great and perfect love, that He cares for, protects and wants the very best for us -- what a Blessed Lord and Saviour we serve !!!
    Like how you shared about the two fathers ... one not so good, and the other - overflowing with the unconditional love of Christ.
    "Thank-You Lord ... for just being "You", for your precious and never-ending love, and the endless amount of times You have always been there for me". I love You, Lord" !!!
    Thanks MaryLu for sharing this ... another most timely word in due season !!!
    Take care, and, God Bless,
    In Him, Brenda

  2. Great post again, MaryLu. Thanks!
    Brenda, I agree ... well said. Thanks!

    Have a great day ladies!

  3. I was just thinking about this very thing yesterday! In this life, we have to be on our guard. Our hearts naturally wander and focus on everything else but God. And Satan is more than happy to help with the process. This is why I must actively seek to spend time in prayer, the Word, attend church and have fellowship with other Christians. I need to reminded of my sin and I need to be reminded of the love and forgiveness of Christ. It is not something that I need to hear a few times a year or even once a week. It is something I need constant reminders of. My soul always need to be refresh in the truth of the Gospel.

  4. Thanks Ladies! There's a scripture in the Psalms somewhere.. that says "She has no fear of bad news, her heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord" and it always touches my heart. I often have a fear of bad news.. you know bad things happening to me or my kids.. but if I truly believe that God loves me so much, then I shouldn't fear bad news. It may come.. but I know that whatever happens, God has my back. I'm not there yet.. but I'm on my way. :-) Hugs!