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.

Drops In The Ocean

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

I want you as you are, not as you ought to be
Won’t you lay down your guard and come to Me
The shame that grips you now is crippling
It breaks My heart to see you suffering

‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide
If want to see
How much you mean to Me
Look at My hands, look at My side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you

And I am for you
I’m not against you
And I am for you
I’m not against you

I am for you,
I’m not against you

Hawk Nelson
Writers: Jon Steingard; Jason Ingram; Matt Bronleewe

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Do you hear God speaking to you through this song?  God says, “I want you as you are … come to Me … it breaks My heart to see you suffering.”

Then Jesus said,
“Come to Me,
all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

‘Cause I am for you
I’m not against you

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6

For the LORD will not reject His people;
He will never forsake His inheritance.
Psalm 94:14

If you want to know
How far my love can go
Just how deep, just how wide

Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
May you experience the love of Christ,
though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete
with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:17-19

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love Me.
I will protect those who trust in My name.
When they call on Me, I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
and give them My salvation.”
Psalms 91:14-17

If you want to see
How much you mean to me
Look at my hands, look at my side
If you could count the times I say you are forgiven
It’s more than the drops in the ocean

But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving,
even though we have rebelled against Him.
Daniel 9:9

He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
Psalm 103:12

Once again You will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under Your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
Micah 7:19

Don’t think you need to settle for a substitute
When I’m the only love that changes you

He is so rich in kindness and grace
that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son
and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 1:7

Open your heart,
It’s time that we start again

But if we confess our sins to Him,
He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins
and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
1 John 1:9

They found grace out in the desert,
…out looking for a place to rest,
[they] met God out looking for them!
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again…
Jeremiah 31:2-4 MSG

Do you see, my sisters, how much God loves you?!  In all these Scriptures and so many more, God tells us “I LOVE YOU!” There is no substitute for God’s love expressed in Jesus’ willingness to come and die for us. What love! He is always for us. He’s never against us. He always wants to forgive us. When shame grips us, when we are suffering, Jesus says, “Open your heart, it’s time we start again.”

YOU ARE FORGIVEN!  YOU ARE LOVED!

  *   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

Lord, thank You for expressing over and over again “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep” Your love is for each of us.  You are so rich in kindness and grace, that You forgive us more times than there are “drops in the ocean.”  Help us to always accept Your love and forgiveness.  Help us share this good news with others.  In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean,
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth
Changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth
Watcheth o’er them from the Throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
’Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to Thee
And it lifts me up to glory

Selah
Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams 

*  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, any greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son, much more,
having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again—to have Christ living in us—to even be able to comprehend this deep, deep love!

…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…
Ephesians 3:17-19

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.   To fully comprehend this kind of love I truly believe it will take having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to us when He returns.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

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

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them (and to us—we are to do the same).

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

Oh, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee, yeah
And it lifts me up to glory

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams /
Performed and sung by Selah / and danced by Praise in Motion

*  ~  *  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  ~  * 

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,
much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again…to have Christ living in us…to even comprehend this deep, deep love!

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.  Truly, I believe, it will take us having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to those that are His when He returns to fully comprehend.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

…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…
Ephesians 3:17-19

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 and 39

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them…and to us—we are to do the same.

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

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!)