but understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.  for people will be lovers of self, …  rather than lovers of God. [2 timothy 3:1-2, 4]
lovers of self vs lovers of God. this is the battle our souls face every day. this is a WAR we could not win so Jesus won the war for us by first loving us with his very life. he took the punishment we deserved, giving us God’s complete forgiveness and acceptance, so we could be right with him and just as important – so we could be with him. the war was won there in Jesus’ death and resurrection. we can now become a son / daughter who is a lover of God because Jesus first loved us. [1 john 4:19]
the war is over, but there is still a battle day to day for your heart. world war 2 in the pacific officially ended when the japanese government signed an unconditional surrender pact on september 2, 1945 on the battleship, uss missouri. the war ended. but battles carried on and on in tiny islands all across the pacific for months, even years. this is our conflict as sons and daughters of God bought by the blood of Christ. the war is over, but the battle for our “love” rages on in our heart.
today, go to war led by your Savior who stands at the right hand of God interceding for you. [romans 8:34]
join him in praying for the battle in your heart. join him in praying for others who are battling to make God their utmost love. below are several verses. as you read through them, ask God to lead you. listen to his voice and then pray that he would kill your affection for other loves and increase your affection for him. boldly ask because you have been fully brought into the throne room of your Father, your King. [hebrews 4:16] let’s go to battle!
 what then shall we say to these things? if God is for us, who can be against us?  he who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? it is God who justifies.  who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  as it is written, “for your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, [39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [romans 8:31-39]
 in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  in this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. …  by this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.  there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  we love because he first loved us. [1 john 4:9-10, 17-19]
 therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. [romans 5:1-5]
see what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. [1 john 3:1]
~ john ryan