January 21, 2018

The Love Of God

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell
The guilty pair, bowed down with care
God gave His Son to win
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin

Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky

O love of God, how rich and pure
How measureless and strong
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song

The Gaither Family
composed by Frederick Lehman

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

We have been called and chosen.  Why?  Just one reason—Almighty God loves us.  Paul says that God has set His love on those whom He loves from all eternity (Ephesians 1:4).  If you are a child of God, there has never been a time when God did not know you and did not love you.  Before you were even born He had determined to set His love on you.  He chose us not because we were love-able; but we became love-able because He chose us and desired us.

In this is love: not that we loved God,
but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
1 John 4:10

You see, at just the right time when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,
though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

From the foundations of time, Sovereign Almighty God has desired His children. And He made a way—a very, very hard way—for sinful, not love-able people to be brought to His Holy Self.  And that was through the sacrifice and death of His Son, Jesus Christ.  And then through the centuries leading up to the perfect time when Jesus would come to the earth to show this incredible love, at sporadic times there were a few people who recognized this love that God had for mankind. David the psalmist was one.  He wrote many, many times about the reality of God’s love for himself.

And even Job, through all his worrying and complaining and the very difficult times he had, knew and was convinced of God’s love for man. Listen…

What is man that you make so much of him
and that You set Your heart on him,
and visit him every morning…?
Job 7:17 and 18

God spoke through any number of the writers of the Scriptures of His love, grace, and mercy.

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace
which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
2 Timothy 1:9

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3

Particularly through the life of one prophet, Hosea, God showed what the depth of His love looked like…right alongside the depravity of the idolatry of His people.  The whole book of Hosea illuminates this truth but in particular I love one verse:

I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
Hosea 11:4

And then Jesus came! And showed clearly the depth of God’s love for mankind. He lived love to the nth degree always being the epitome of God’s love.  Listen to this Truth (I know it is so because it is in God’s Word)…truth hard to comprehend but true nonetheless!

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels,
nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come,
nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God,

which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

Such love is so very difficult to grasp with our minds, BUT, because God tells us so through Paul’s words, we KNOW it to be true!  And through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit we are able to experience it with our hearts.

…And that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

Truly not feasible by our own doing, our own efforts, our own works. And this is the awesome Truth of God’s desiring us—it is not based on you or me but completely on Him!

 *  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Lord, I ask that You help each of us to hold these Truths in our minds and our hearts.  There is nothing greater than Your love!  There is no more sure thing than Your love!  Please help us to live every day confessing and believing that,

“…neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate <me> from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus <my> Lord.”

We stand in awe of You and this awesome love of Yours!  We love You and adore You; praying in Jesus’ precious name.  Amen.

Surrender

SeekingHimLogo

Recorded in the Gospel of John, our Lord made seven statements referring to Himself as I AM

I AM The Light of the World
I AM The Bread of Life
I AM The Door

I AM The Good Shepherd
I AM The True Vine

I AM The Way, The Truth, and The Life
I AM The Resurrection and The Life

Each week during this season of Lent, here on the Seeking Him blog, we will be focusing our devotionals on a different aspect of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as I AM.  The aim of Lent should be to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice—His trial and torture, the Crucifixion and His death…and above all, the celebration of His Resurrection from the dead.  We pray that this will be a great encouragement to each of you who read them.  And that all of us will consider the significance of Jesus’ words and, through them, be helped as we remember and are thankful for all Jesus went through during the last few weeks of His life on this earth.

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

As I was reading John 10:11-18, I kept going back to these two verses:

This is why the Father loves Me,
because I am laying down My life so I may take it up again.
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down on My own.
I have the right to lay it down, and I have the right to take it up again.
I have received this command from My Father.
John 10:17-18 HCSB

I love the way verse 18 reads in NLT:

“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily.”

Did you catch that?—Jesus chose to surrender Himself to God’s plan voluntarily.  He chose to become our Good Shepherd.  In John 6:38 (HCSB) Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”  Christ had the ability, the authority to say NO.  Instead, He chose to lay down His life for us in accordance to His Father’s will.

We face the same choice.  We can either go it on our own or we can voluntarily submit ourselves to God’s plan.  Titus 2:14 reminds us that Christ “…gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.”  2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV) tells us, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace.”

Christ led by example.  He became our example.  He is our Good Shepherd—the one who cares for us and leads us to safety.  He has called us.  Yet the choice is ours.  No one else will make the decision for us.  No one is going to snatch our struggles from us.  We must willingly…voluntarily…surrender our will to His and allow Him to lead us.

For me, the surrender is daily; sometimes minute-by-minute.  But when I do and I trust my Good Shepherd following His lead, well, therein lies the victory!

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~  

Jesus, I am so glad You willingly chose to follow God’s plan. I am thankful You know me. I am grateful I can listen to Your voice and follow where You lead. But most of all, I am thankful You laid Your life down for me. In Your precious name I pray, Amen – it is so!

CHRISTLife — Seventeen: Desired

cl desired

We have been called and chosen.  Why?  Just one reason—Almighty God desired to love us.  Paul says that God has set His love on those whom He loves from all eternity (Ephesians 1:4).  If you are a child of God, there has never been a time when God did not know you and did not love you.  Before you were even born He had determined to set His love on you.  He chose us not because we were love-able; but we become love-able because He chose us and desired us.

In this is love: not that we loved God,
but that He loved us
and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.
1 John 4:10

You see, at just the right time when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person,
though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:6-8

From the foundations of time, Sovereign Almighty God has desired His children. And He made a way—a very, very hard way—for sinful, not love-able people to be brought to His Holy Self.  And that was through the sacrifice and death of His Son, Jesus Christ.  And then through the centuries leading up to the perfect time when Jesus would come to the earth to show this incredible love, at sporadic times there were a few people who recognized this love that God had for mankind. David the psalmist was one.  He wrote many, many times about the reality of God’s love for himself.

And even Job, through all his worryings and complainings and the very difficult times he had, I believe he knew and was convinced of God’s love for man. Listen…

What is man that you make so much of him and that You set Your heart on him,
and visit him every morning…?
Job 7:17 and 18

God spoke through any number of the prophets declaring to the people He was drawing to Himself of His love, grace, and mercy and His desire for mankind.

Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works,
but according to His own purpose and grace
which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
2 Timothy 1:9

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3

Particularly, through the life of one prophet, Hosea, God showed what the depth of His love looked like…right alongside the depravity of the idolatry and whoredom of His people.  The whole book of Hosea illuminates this truth but in particular I love one verse:

I led them with cords of kindness, with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.
Hosea 11:4

And then Jesus came! And showed clearly the depth of God’s love for mankind. He lived love to the nth degree always being the epitome of God’s love.

Now here is Truth (I know it is so because it is in God’s Word)…truth hard to comprehend but true nonetheless!

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

Such love is beyond our ability to grasp with our minds, but it is not beyond our ability to experience with our hearts. Only through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit are we able to do so!

…And that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
may be able to comprehend with all the saints
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

Truly not feasible by our own doing, our own efforts, our own works. BUT, because God tells us so through Paul’s encouragement to the church at Ephesus, we KNOW it to be true! And this is the awesome Truth of God’s desiring us—it is not based on you or me but completely on Him!

May I share something with you?  At the very beginning of today’s chapter, Mrs. Myers asks her readers to “Allow the Lord to fully convince your heart that He desires you.”  I had an extremely difficult time taking that step.  You see, on any given day, I have not been convinced that Almighty God desired me.  Let alone ask Him to ‘fully convince my heart’ of that fact.  But…today I did ask.  And He is doing so!!!  Oh, I have a <prior> lifetime of being fully convinced that perhaps God might desire everyone else but not me.  But that is not too much for our Father to deal with!  For little me, Coleen Ann Brigit McElroy Hayden, “I am <becoming> convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate <me> from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus <my> Lord.”  How about you?

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

God loves you   (Don’t ever forget that!)