January 22, 2018

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

Utterly Unselfish

SeekingHimLogo

<If I>…have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.
Love endures long and is patient and kind;
love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy,
is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way,
for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness,
but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
and it endures everything [without weakening].
Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].
1 Corinthians 13:3b-8

Does reading this passage make anyone else uncomfortable?  It is like reading a list of my most glaring faults.  I strive to live and love this way, but, mostly, I fall exceedingly short.

My Life Application Study Bible has this note for the above passage:

“God’s kind of love is directed outward towards others, not inward toward ourselves. It is utterly unselfish. This kind of love goes against our natural inclinations. It is impossible to have this love unless God helps us set aside our own natural desires so that we can love and not expect anything in return.”

Look at it like this…

{Love} is patient/long-suffering  {Love} is NOT envious
{Love} is kind                                       {Love} is NOT jealous
{Love} bears all things                      {Love} is NOT proud
{Love} believes the best                   {Love} is NOT rude
{Love} does not celebrate evil     {Love} is NOT self-seeking
{Love} rejoices when truth wins   {Love} is NOT irritable
{Love} never gives up
{Love} does not keep score
{Love} is always hopeful
{Love} is enduring
{Love} never fails

Utterly unselfish love, possible only with God’s help

Whew!!!  That’s a tall order.  Try reading that passage with your name in place of {Love}.  (Did anyone besides me just say OUCH?!?) I am not all those things yet…but I can continue to work towards them. What I need to remember is that is not important how many times I fail, but how many times I get back up. Perseverance is key. Hebrews 12:1b (NIV) encourages us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us….” James 1:4 tells us we must “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God will always be there to help if I am willing to persevere and ask Him for help. The neat thing—God has already provided us with everything we need. Paul reminds us of this in Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP):

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence).

We have been given the Holy Spirit Who can strengthen these characteristics in us and bring them to light in our lives!

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

The measure of Christian maturity is how we display love. We are nothing if we don’t have love. I want to be more than that. What I desire most is to display love as Christ did.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Father, help me persevere. I want to love as You love. Let my natural desires fade away as I seek to show love outwardly toward others…not considering myself. It is only possible with Your guidance and the Holy Spirit working in me. In Jesus’ name I ask this – Amen, So Be It!

With Every Act Of Love

phssChristmasgraphic2014

Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart-cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

Singer/Songwriter Jason Gray along with Jason Ingram

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

As I was listening to these lyrics, I realized that there is one act of love…in my opinion the greatest act of love…that makes all this possible. The one time that Heaven came to earth—the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Look at the following verses:

Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth,
while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47 NLT

He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others];
he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth,
and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint].
He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others.
John 3:31 AMP

Christ came from Heaven for us.  No other reason.  He brought His Kingdom to earth so that we might join Him one day in Heaven.  Because He did, we who believe have Christ within us.  We can let His light shine through us.  In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:49 (AMP) states:  “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.”

In Zechariah 7:9 (HCSB) we are given these instructions:

The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Make fair decisions.
Show faithful love and compassion to one another.

And 2 Thessalonians 3:5a (AMP) says:

May the Lord direct your hearts into [realizing and showing] the love of God….

When we reach out with Christ’s unconditional love we bring a piece of Heaven to earth. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Simple words of kindness and forgiveness can have a huge impact. A small gesture like a smile or a touch could change a life. It is in the acts that come from the heart that others are able to see Christ’s heart. John 13:35 (HCSB) states: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” And, of course, Matthew 25:40 (HCSB) reminds us:

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you:
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

I want to carry Jesus alive in me. I want His light to shine through. I want to be the bridge that allows Heaven to touch earth once again.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

Abba, I am so amazed by Your selfless act of unconditional, unfailing love. Let me carry You alive in me, allowing Your light to shine through me. Remind me that with every act of love, Heaven touches earth. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen – IT IS SO!

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

Let My Life Be the Proof…of His Love

Let my life be the proof … the proof of Your LOVE
Let my LOVE look like You and what You’re made of
How You lived, how You died—LOVE is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof … the proof of Your LOVE

Do these words echo in your heart as they do my own?  So, may I ask you then, what does ‘…let my life be the proof of Your LOVE…’ look like?  (I would love to know your answer!  Please leave a note in the comment section below.)

Here is one answer that I am sure of:

By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us,
and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:16 and 18

If my life truly is the proof of His LOVE, then there is sacrifice as well as action, not simply words.

In the Gospel of John, there is also this record of Jesus teaching His disciples about LOVE, and giving them command to follow.

“When you bear much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love.  If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My LOVE and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His LOVE.  I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.  This is My commandment: that you LOVE one another [just] as I have LOVED you.  No one has greater LOVE than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.  You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.  I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing.  But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father….This is what I command you: that you LOVE one another.”  (chapter 13:8-15, 17)

Jesus gave those who walked Him and lived with Him and saw with their very own eyes how He perfectly LOVED many, many examples of how to LOVE.  They were with Him when:

  • He healed (Mark 3:10)
  • He brought back the dead to life (Luke 7:12-15)
  • He cast evil spirits out (Matthew 8:16)
  • He miraculously fed thousands (Mark 6:31-44)
  • He saved a sinful woman from being stoned to death (John 8:3-11)
  • He touched lepers (Mark 1:40-45)
  • He actually washed their own feet (John 13:5-13)
  •  A few of them were even there when, dying on the Cross, He asked His Father to forgive those crucifying Him (Luke 23:34).

They were eyewitnesses and recipients of His compassion and His care and His LOVE.

Jesus not only taught them by His example but He clearly and purposefully gave them instructions for when He was gone.

This is how everyone will know that you are My disciples,
if you have LOVE for one another.
John 13:35

Simply put, LOVE—in order to be LOVE—must be shown through our actions, not just through our words and how we feel.  Our LOVING actions ARE the proof.  When we choose to obey God and to LOVE others in the way that He has told us…it is LOVE just like Jesus’ love.  Here’s the best list of actions that ARE the proof that I know….

Love is patient,
Love is kind and is not jealous;
Love does not brag and is not arrogant,
does not act unbecomingly;
It does not seek its own, is not provoked,
does not take into account a wrong suffered,
does not rejoice in unrighteousness,
but rejoices with the truth;
bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails;
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

And lastly—but of vital importance—is to always remember who we are AND Whose we are!  Jesus pointedly stated,

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5

Nothing.  (ummm, that IS what Jesus said.)  Nothing of importance, nothing of value, nothing of eternal weight.  But, as we abide in Him, and follow His direction and example, we can be instruments in the Master’s hand.  We can be part of His purpose and plan.  Our lives CAN be the proof of His LOVE!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Will you pray with me, please?

Dear Lord, how incredibly thankful we are that You did not just demand that we LOVE…You prepared our hearts. You gave us examples (oh, so many!). You promised to help us. You gave us much instruction. You gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Helper!  We so desire to LOVE as You LOVED, Lord!  We so yearn to be Your hands and feet!  We so want to help to draw others to You, as we have been drawn!  Please help us to be humble, recognizing our immense need for Your help!  By God’s grace and mercy, may we bring glory to our Father as we live lives that ARE the proof of Your LOVE!  Thank You, Lord…we pray and ask these things in Your name, amen!

Let all that you do be done in LOVE.

1 Corinthians 16:14

Praying for each of you!

  coleen