Saturday, September 02, 2006

God's Great Love

Zephaniah 3:17 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."

Earlier this week I wrote about Eliezer bringing Rebekah as a bride to Isaac, just as the Holy Spirit brings us to Jesus. Since then, I've continued to ponder the depth of love that Jesus has for us on an individual basis. I don't think we come close to comprehending the depth of that love and I think it would be a very good thing for us to understand it more fully.

My mother's love is the closest human comparison I can think of to God's love. I remember how I once looked down at her face from the platform where I was practising with our worship team. She had come along to keep me company that evening and as she watched us, her eyes were ablaze with love. That image has stayed with me, and often as I'm singing I look down at the pew where she sat that night and picture her there. God's eyes blaze with love for us, and since any human similarity can only be a dim reflection of who God is, I can only imagine the intensity of the love in his gaze.

His relationship with us is personal, alive, dynamic and intimate, mysterious and filled with love gifts and signs of affection.

I wrote on August 7th, in a post titled, "The Culture of Heaven," about my flight back to Canada from England and the East Indian family I traveled with that was such good company. One of them, Panna, was a believer and as she was telling me of the books she was taking with her to read in Canada, she pulled one from her bag and said, "I feel I'm supposed to give you this." That small book, published by Rickfords Hill Publishing as one of their "One Pound Classics," was a gift straight from the hand of God. How grateful I am that Panna didn't hesitate to obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit. The book, "Hungry for More of Jesus," by David Wilkerson, has been speaking to me like a letter directly from God. So much of what he has been saying to me in prayer and through his Word, has been confirmed and reinforced by what David Wilkerson has to say. After I wrote about Eliezer and Rebekah, I found the same story in the book, in a chapter called, "Walking in the Spirit." David Wilkerson wrote that Eliezer's name means "mighty, divine, helper." I can't count the number of times that I've read a few pages, then gently closed the book, breathing a prayer that said, "Thank you so much for this book." This is just one small example of the reality of relationship with him and his delight in blessing us.

Often when I think of heaven, I think of the hymn, "Holy, Holy, Holy," and the imagery in the book of Revelation describing his awe inspiring Presence, but lately I've been thinking of what it will be like to be in the presence of such love. It will be a love that is returned with all my heart.

Revelation 21:3-4 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."

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