January 22, 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.

Thank You (for the things I have never thanked You for)

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Thank You for the things
That I never thanked You for

You’ve given everything I need
And still I asked for more

It’s not that I’m ungrateful
I’m just forgetful, Lord

So I thank You for the things
That I’ve never thanked You for

There are so many blessings that You have given me
Things I take for granted everyday
The beauty of creation and the promise of my salvation
Lord, help me to remember when I pray

Now when my way grows weary
And rest is hard to find

And sometimes I can’t see
My way through

And when it seems that I am blinded
That’s when I need to be reminded

That the strength I thought was mine
…It came from You

~  The Isaacs  ~

*   ~   ♥   ~   ✞   ~  ♥   ~   *

The simple words of this bluegrass ballad are, sadly, so true: we do forget to give God thanks and we do take for granted oh-so-very-many things that God has done for us.  I am ashamed that I can sing the line ‘You’ve given everything I need…and still I asked for more’ right along with the Isaacs Family.  Oh, it’s not that I am not thankful—I am SO thankful!  Or that I don’t voice my thanks and praise to my heavenly Father.  And I am SURE you do, too!  But truly our mouths should be filled with thanks and not petitions.

Here is just one short passage full of incredible blessings (I’ve counted more than ten things to praise and thank Him for):

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1: 3-7

And another:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:3-12

Thank You for the things that I’ve never thanked You for!”  Have we intentionally thanked God for being ‘blessed…with every spiritual blessing…in Christ’? Or purposefully thanked Him for being ‘predestined according to His purpose…to the end that we…would be to the praise of His glory’?  Or thanked Him from the depth of our hearts for the truth that ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him’?

Our giving of thanks to God should fill our days!  When we get up, we have much to be thankful for (breath, life, new day, new mercies…).  As we go throughout the day, we have much to be thankful for (protection, guidance, forgiveness, peace, comfort…).  As we lay our heads down at night, we have much to be thankful for (provision, joy, trials gotten through, loved ones…).  And even as the Psalmist wrote,

At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances.
Psalm 119:62

So let’s not be forgetful but thankful.  Truly, we should

Rejoice always; pray without ceasing;
in everything give thanks;
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Every day, throughout each day, speak and sing out your thankfulness to your heavenly Father!

To the end that my tongue and my heart
and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:12

Thank You

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Thank you for the things that I never thanked You for
You’ve given everything I need and still I asked for more
It’s not that I’m ungrateful, I’m just forgetful, Lord
So I thank You for the things that I’ve never thanked You for

There are so many blessings that You have given me
Things I take for granted everyday
The beauty of creation and the promise of my salvation
Lord, help me to remember when I pray

Now when my way grows weary and rest is hard to find
And sometimes I can’t see my way through
And when it seems that I am blinded that’s when I need to be reminded
That the strength I thought was mine…it came from You

  Written by Sonya Isaac and Shelton Feazell ~  Sung by The Isaacs

  * ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

I must admit that I can sing the line ‘You’ve given everything I need…and still I asked for more’ right along with the Isaacs’ Family.  Oh, it’s not that I am not thankful—I am SO thankful!  Or that I don’t voice my thanks and praise to my heavenly Father.  I DO…and I am SURE you do, too!   The simple words of this bluegrass ballad speak the truth: we do forget to give God thanks and we do take for granted oh-so-very-many things that God has done for us.  But truly our mouths should be full of thanks and not petitions.

Here is one short passage FILLED with incredible blessings (I’ve counted more than ten!)  to praise and thank Him for.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1: 3-7

And here’s another:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:3-12

As we sing along “thank You for the things that I’ve never thanked You for…” have we intentionally thanked God that we are ‘blessed…with every spiritual blessing…in Christ’?  Or purposefully thanked Him that we are ‘predestined according to His purpose…to the end that we…would be to the praise of His glory’?  Or wholeheartedly thanked Him for the truth that ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him’?

Our giving thanks to God should fill our days!

  • When we get up, we have much to be thankful for—breath, life, new day, new mercies…
  • As we go throughout the day, we have much to be thankful for—protection, guidance, forgiveness, peace, comfort…
  • As we lay our heads down at night, we have much to be thankful for—provision, joy, trials gotten through, loved ones…

May I encourage you to sing {with your whole heart} your praise and gratitude and thanks giving to God truly thanking Him for those things that you have never thanked Him for!  Perhaps some of those blessings listed in the two Scripture passages above will supply some words to your song.

Thank You (for the things that I’ve never thanked You for)

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Thank you for the things that I never thanked You for
You’ve given everything I need and still I asked for more
It’s not that I’m ungrateful, I’m just forgetful, Lord
So I thank You for the things that I’ve never thanked You for

There are so many blessings that You have given me
Things I take for granted everyday
The beauty of creation and the promise of my salvation
Lord, help me to remember when I pray

Now when my way grows weary and rest is hard to find
And sometimes I can’t see my way through
And when it seems that I am blinded that’s when I need to be reminded
That the strength I thought was mine…it came from You

~  Sung by The Isaacs   (songwriter unknown)  ~

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

The simple words of this bluegrass ballad speak the truth: we do forget to give God thanks and we do take for granted oh-so-very-many things that God has done for us.  I am ashamed that I can sing the line ‘You’ve given everything I need…and still I asked for more’ right along with the Isaacs Family.  Oh, it’s not that I am not thankful—I am SO thankful!  Or that I don’t voice my thanks and praise to my heavenly Father.  And I am SURE you do, too!  But truly our mouths should be full of thanks and not petitions.

Here is just one short passage FILLED with incredible blessings (I’ve counted more than ten things to praise and thank Him for):

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1: 3-7

And another:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 1:3-12

“Thank You for the things that I’ve never thanked You for!”  Have we intentionally thanked God for being ‘blessed…with every spiritual blessing…in Christ’? Or purposefully thanked Him for being ‘predestined according to His purpose…to the end that we…would be to the praise of His glory’?  Or thanked Him from the depth of our hearts for the truth that ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before Him’?

Our giving of thanks to God should fill our days!  When we get up, we have much to be thankful for (breath, life, new day, new mercies…).  As we go throughout the day, we have much to be thankful for (protection, guidance, forgiveness, peace, comfort…).  As we lay our heads down at night, we have much to be thankful for (provision, joy, trials gotten through, loved ones…).  And even as the Psalmist wrote,

At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances.
Psalm 119:62

Truly, we should “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  So let’s not be forgetful but thankful.  Every day, throughout each day, speak and sing out your thankfulness to your heavenly Father!

To the end that my tongue and my heart
and everything glorious within me
may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
Psalm 30:12