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Posts Tagged ‘love’

THE LOVE OF GOD

December 1, 2009 Leave a comment

ME: Is daddy upset with you?

HAVEN: Yes.

ME: Does daddy love you?

HAVEN: Yes.

Every time I hear Haven’s responses to those two questions I think of my Heavenly Father, who continues to love me even when my sin angers him.

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NOTES LEFT BEHIND

November 25, 2009 2 comments

Why do we let so many days pass without telling our loved ones how much they mean to us? Allow 6 year old Elena to inspire you to write a note today to someone you love.
Warning: There is a 99.99% chance you will cry when you watch the video.

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NEED A GOOD REASON TO LOVE GOD? EZEKIEL HAS ONE.

November 22, 2009 Leave a comment

For a long time now I have loved the first 14 verses of Ezekiel 16, where God opens his journal and reads the graphic, love-soaked words to his beloved bride, Israel. Detailing his faithful love from her birth, through adolescence, and into womanhood, God tugs on the heartstrings of anyone who has ever held a child, invested in a teenager, or loved a spouse. Powerful. Intimate. Beautiful.

Hideous. A sudden shift occurs in verse 15. In spite of God’s devoted commitment to the marriage, his bride has left him broken hearted. Jealous, angry, and hurt, God reveals his disgust with her adulterous ways. He unloads: “You’re nothing but a prostitute. No, I take that back. You’re worse than a prostitute. A prostitute gets paid to sleep with strangers. You, on the other hand…you do it for free. Even worse, you’re the one paying for the sleazy service.” A little later in the one-sided conversation, God continues: “You’re as bad as Sodom. No, you’re worse than Sodom. As a matter of fact, you are so much worse that you make Sodom look good.” Heart wrenching. Pitiful. Disgusting.

Amazing. Another sharp break comes in verse 60. In spite of Israel’s rebellious ways, God vows his continued faithfulness to the marriage. God won’t let go. He can’t give her up. He renews the vows that she broke, pledging to establish an everlasting covenant with his wayward bride, atone for her heinous crimes, and someway, somehow rediscover the close relationship that has been lost.

Just in case you’re wondering, this story is not unique. It’s my story. It’s your story. It’s humanity’s story. Praise God for his amazing grace!

TELL ME THE BACKSTORY OF JESUS

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Jesus’ story doesn’t begin at his miraculous conception and lowly birth. Before his life on earth, Jesus had a life in heaven.

SunRise

The Apostle John, at the outset of his gospel, tells of four amazing aspects of Jesus’ pre-incarnate life:

  1. Jesus (the Word) existed before the creation of the universe. In the beginning was the Word.
  2. Jesus existed in the closest possible relationship with God the Father. And the Word was with God.
  3. Jesus was not the Father, yet Jesus was God. And the Word was God.
  4. Jesus had a part in creating the universe. All things were made through him.

John’s four insights suggest a significant difference between Jesus’ birth and ours. We had no say in whether or not we were born. Jesus, on the other hand, CHOSE to be born. He made himself nothing, in the words of Philippians 2:5-8.

The motivation behind him choosing to live here? LOVE. This love is, in fact, the essence of Jesus’ being and existence.

  • He existed in a loving union with the Father and Spirit prior to creation.
  • In a great act of love, he created us to share the love that already existed in the divine Father-Son-Spirit community.
  • In love he recreated us, trading a life of extreme advantage in heaven for a life of severe disadvantage on earth.
  • In the ultimate act of sacrificial love, he voluntary laid down the life he had previously voluntarily embraced.

In love Jesus came for us. In return, he asks that we love him enough to come to him.

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TWO TOUGH SPOTS

October 11, 2009 2 comments

I was washing dishes (yippee!) a moment ago and began reflecting on the many, many blessings my family has received in the past week. In the last several days we’ve been blessed with a healthy baby boy, wonderful care at the hospital, many visits to the hospital and our house by close friends and family, and on top of all that…several wonderful meals prepared and delivered to us by caring members of our church family. I suppose it was the washing of these other people’s dishes that triggered these thoughts a moment ago.

ATAG_Dishwasher_-_VA6511TT_(Lifestyle)_rs

These thoughts about my blessings led me to this statement in Paul’s letter to the Romans: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (12:15). I’m fortunate to be a part of a church family that does that very well. Many people, unfortunately, are not a part of God’s family and so are not familiar with the kind of support my family has received lately. That’s unfortunate because two of the toughest spots in which to find yourself in life are:

  1. When you have something wonderful happen to you but have no one to share in your celebration.
  2. When you have something tragic happen to you but have no one to share in your sorrow.

Fortunately, my church family rejoices and weeps with me. They keep me out of these two tough spots.

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