Monday, November 29, 2010

God's Passionate Love

"Oh! Ephraim is my dear, dear son,
my child in whom I take pleasure!
Every time I mention his name,
my heart bursts with longing for him!
Everything in me cries out for him.
Softly and tenderly I wait for him." God's Decree.
(Jeremiah 31:20, MSG)

What a verse! Found this one Sunday morning some time while we were at church.

Isn’t it fun to sometimes insert your own name into a verse and believe the good news you’re reading is for you? I changed out the name Ephraim to Annette and then reworked a few pronouns to fit better.

“Oh! … my dear, dear one.” God calls us dear—we’re so precious to Him.

We’re God’s children. He takes pleasure in us. (This theme is all over the Bible—God delights in us.)

He speaks our names and then He longs for us with a deep passion. He wants to spend time with us, to hear us pray, to commune with us. (see Song of Songs 2:14 and Rev. 3:20)

He desires us. Wow. This theme is so strong in this verse. Have you ever missed someone so badly you “cried out” for them? What if God has an insatiable need to be near you, to experience you, your heart?

Softly and tenderly He waits for us. Hmm… like a kind Father, or like a patient Lover. This is our God, our passionate, loving God.

Homework: write this verse down in your journal with your name (and appropriate pronouns) and meditate on it often. Get even more personal with God. Ask Him to open this verse up to you—its themes, its truths about His heart toward you. Delight in His delighting in you. This is how we get free, healed, blessed. When God shows us the truth about His heart toward us, voices of condemnation are silenced. Timidity gives way to confidence. Mistrust gives way to abandonment. God’s heart changes ours.

This verse is an invitation to enjoy Him. Let's go!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God's Love Arrested Me

God’s love overtook me today.

I was out running errands today when bam! the lyrics of the song “Where I Belong” by Cory Asbury connected my spirit with God’s desire, and His love arrested me.

Here are the lines that got to me:

I am my Beloved’s, and He is mine.
So, come into your garden and take delight in me.
Take delight in me.

Delight in me.
Delight in me.
Delight in me.

And it hit me. God delights in me whether I feel delight-able or not. He doesn’t condemn me for not having my devotional time on a crazy-busy day (like today). He doesn’t disown me for my mistakes. In fact, He invented this process whereby we are fashioned into His image. (So, He isn’t at all offended by it.)

God delights in me.

Same’s true of you.

Good news, isn’t it?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Expect More of God's Love

God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!"
(Jer. 31:3, MSG)

Isn’t that a fantastic verse? When I read it this morning, I was prompted to pray for three things:

1) the ability to recognize God’s love in my life
2) the ability to receive God’s love in a greater measure
3) that He’d enlarge my heart with a greater capacity to receive

(Those last two are closely related.)

Isn’t God’s love what we all long for? A greater experience of it.

God’s love is so astonishing, so mind bending, a fresh revelation has the power to revamp our lives, to heal our hurts and to free us from lies.

So, how do we pursue a greater understanding of God’s love?

Ask Him (like that list above).

Trust Him (sometimes His love won’t look how we expect).

Seek Him (spend time chasing after Him in prayer and while reading the Word—you can’t get to know someone if you never spend time with them).

Love Him (reach toward Him in love).

And now may God’s love arise in your heart as He shows you a deeper revelation of His awesome affection for you.