A NEW KIND OF LOVE

A NEW KIND OF LOVE

“For your maker is your husband,
The Lord Almighty is His name,
The Holy One of Israel is your redeemer,
He is called the God of all the earth.”
Isaiah 54:5

“The Lord appeared to us in the past saying:
‘I have loved you with an everlasting love,
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
Jeremiah 31:3

I have been taken by it. I have relished knowing God through His Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my Father, my friend, and His many other attributes. But now I am faced with the area of intimate love: Christ as my husband, my lover, and I His bride “The church“.

“My beloved is mine, and I am His.” Song of Solomon 2:16

This is indeed a venture of “No ordinary”, but  extravagant love of utmost intimacy of heart. A journey to understand a love of unquenchable fire in Christ’s eyes for her.  A love who is jealous for her, her heart, her mind, her affections, her soul. A love who wants to satisfy the deepest desires and longings of her heart.  A love who knows her, her hurt, her distress, her pain, her woes and who has also given her dreams, desires, and promises. A love who wants to take her into spiritual heights with Him so that she might conquer her fears and enter His rest.

“God is sprang by you, Mimi!” were a friend’s words to me on one of my most distressful days arresting and disarming me completely. “Mimi, when you are anxious, fearful, or unhappy, He is a love who hurts for you (His bride) and would pursue you until you find your calm, your horizon, your rest in Him.”  In that moment I remembered his tender whispers throughout the day to “Be still and know that He is God”, but I would only take heed for a moment then revert back to my own strength, hence my exhaustion.  I am learning that He is a love who avenges me, breathes in me , cries for me, defends my honor, laughs with me, lays His life for me (already has), rejoices about me, speaks to me, sings over me, and tied to me in eternal blood covenant.  He is a love who has written love songs to me (The Bible), so I am reminded whose I am and to whom I belong, my covering, my inheritance. Love letters of tender words assuring me that He will fulfill His promises to me , washing me pure and blameless both now and in eternity.

This song has a whole new meaning to me now:  “How He Loves Us” by David Crowder  (I love Kim Walker’s Version). Enjoy!!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, may you tenderly walk us through the depth of your immeasurable/bottomless love and may we not miss you. Your nearness is our good. Amen

Advertisements

I LOVE IT WHEN HE TIES AND INTERWEAVES STORIES TOGETHER

I LOVE IT WHEN HE TIES AND INTERWEAVES STORIES TOGETHER

“The Sovereign Lord is my Strength
He makes my feet life the feet of a deer
He enables me to go on the heights.”
Psalm 18:33 and Habakkuk 3:19

There is no greater joy to me than to sit at my mini notebook and let my fingers dance over the keyboard and let Him flow as the jumbled up words in my head start forming coherent thoughts. My only goal is to find Him and in Him sum up all that I have acquired/learned with all my five senses and let my heart, my mind, and my position change accordingly, while I stand on His written promises. If my desire is to find God in every place, every situation, and every interaction: He will be found by me according to His words in Jeremiah 29:13-14a: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you” declares the Lord. So here I go….

There are no coincidences with God and as He trains my senses to be sensitive to His purposeful little nudges, I find myself in a world full of signs, miracles, an ongoing sense of adventure of what’s to come while filling me with childlike wonder. There is no greater joy than finding Him. Imagine all they must have felt: Abram at the Tree of Mamre, Moses at the burning bush, and Isaiah in the Throne Room of God. What was going through their minds when they were faced with their particular experiences and in that moment realized they were standing on Holy Ground in the presence of Holiness, and their respective responses because of what they had seen or heard. Abram turned into a servant soaring with faith that Isaac will be born this time next year, Moses took off His sandals and gingerly headed to Egypt to Deliver God‘s people from Pharaoh, and Isaiah uttered words of unworthiness “Woe to me, I am a man of unclean lips, living among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” and was fully open to be sent wherever God led Him.  An Encounter that would change the course of their lives and all that they have known or been familiar and comfortable with. And sometimes, God enters our world with everlasting love expressed by loving-kindness so patient so other it leaves us breathless, humbled, overwhelmed, and makes one wrestle in one’s minds whatever He ever saw in us in the first place.  I have read the book “Hinds Feet in High Places” and in my lifetime, it will be the third book next to the bible and the Valley of Vision I would recommend that every Christian read,but for now David and Jonathan.

The Story of David and Jonathan, son of King Saul.

It is a story of a friendship, a brotherhood like none other tested by the continued hatred, life threats posed by King Saul towards David, and one which had withstood it all.  Such is its legacy: a love that would lay its own life down on the line for the other bonded by a blood covenant that only death could separate, but even then strengthened by oath and promise.

1 Samuel 20:12-15:
“Then Jonathan said to David: ’By the Lord, the God of Israel, I will surely sound out my father by this time the day after tomorrow! If he is favorably disposed toward you will I not send you word and let you know? But if my father is inclined to harm you, may the Lord deal with me, be it so severely, if I do not let you know and send you away safely. May the Lord be with you as He has been with my father. BUT SHOW ME UNFAILING KINDNESS LIKE THAT OF THE LORD AS LONG AS I LIVE, SO THAT I MAY NO BE KILLED, AND DO NOT EVER CUT OFF YOUR KINDNESS FROM MY FAMILY–NOT EVEN WHEN THE LORD HAS CUT OFF EVERY ONE OF DAVID’S ENEMIES FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH.”

And as prophesized by the prophet Samuel, the Lord would destroy all of David’s enemies including King Saul, his army, even Jonathan. David would lament for Saul, but especially for Jonathan upon hearing of his death crying: “How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies slain on your heights. I grieve for you Jonathan, my brother, you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women.” in 2 Samuel 1:25-26. David was shortly after anointed King over Judah and after many years would remembered His oath to Jonathan, his friend. So David inquired:

2 Samuel 9:1-13:
“David asked, ‘Is there anyone still left of the house of Saul whom I can show KINDNESS for Jonathan’s sake?

He was informed by Ziba, a servant of Saul’s household, that Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan, lived in Lo Debar (meaning No Pasture) in the house of Makir son of Ammiel. He was crippled in both feet. He had him brought to him and the first words out of David’s mouth were: “Don’t be afraid” appeasing any anxious thoughts or fear that might have been brewing in Mephibosheth‘s mind . He then assured Mephibosheth that He will surely show him kindness because of Jonathan, restore all the land that belonged to his family, ordered the house of Ziba to work the land, and gave Mephibosheth an invitation to ALWAYS dine at the King’s table.

Verse 8: “Mephibosheth bowed down and said ‘what is your servant that you should notice a dead dog like me?’”

It is so overwhelming to see the parallelism of David’s kindness towards Mephibosheth and God’s kindness towards us, we who were dead in our transgressions, spiritual cripples .The words of David found in Psalm 8:4: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” echo that of Mephibosheth who now sits redeemed as expressed by David in Psalm 103:4-6: Praise the Lord O my soul……who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” 365 times, our Lord has said “fear not” in the bible, the very words spoken to Mephibosheth upon his appearance before David, comforting and reassuring his soul. Mephibosheth was also invited to eat at the King’s table which made me think of the passage in the Song of Solomon 2:4: “He has taken me to the banquet hall, and His banner over me is love.” and Revelation 19:9: “Then the angel said to me, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the lamb!” Mephibosheth was restored and lived safely in Jerusalem under the covering of David with his son Mica.

The story of Mephibosheth made me think of “Much Afraid” from “Hinds Feet in High Places” who was invited in the service of the Great Shepherd.  Here is a short excerpt of her story. I pray this wets your appetite to read the entire book. You will gain much from this Allegory. I am praying that in the end you will be able to utter the very words inscribed by Habakkuk and David at the beginning of this writing as well as possess many altar stones in remembrance of who He is:
“The Sovereign Lord is my Strength
He makes my feet life the feet of a deer
He enables me to go on the heights.”
Psalm 18:33 and Habakkuk 3:19

Chapter 1
Invitation to the High Places

“This is the story of how Much-Afraid escaped
from her Fearing relatives and went with the
Shepherd to the High Places where “perfect love
casteth out fear.”

For several years Much-Afraid had been in the
service of the Chief Shepherd, whose great flocks
were pastured down in the Valley of Humiliation.
She lived with her friends and fellow workers Mercy
and Peace in a tranquil little white cottage in the
village of Much-Trembling. She loved her work and
desired intensely to please the Chief Shepherd, but
happy as she was in most ways, she was conscious of
several things which hindered her in her work and
caused her much secret distress and shame.
In the first place she was a cripple, with feet
so crooked that they often caused her to limp and
stumble as she went about her work. She had also
the very unsightly blemish of a crooked mouth which
greatly disfigured both expression and speech and was
sadly conscious that these ugly blemishes must be a
cause of astonishment and offense to many who knew
that she was in the service of the great Shepherd.
Most earnestly she longed to be completely
delivered from these shortcomings and to be made
beautiful, gracious, and strong as were so many
of the Shepherd’s other workers, and above all to
be made like the Chief Shepherd himself. But she
feared that there could be no deliverance from these
two crippling disfigurements and that they must
continue to mar her service always.
There was, however, another and even greater
trouble in her life. She was a member of the Family
of Fearings, and her relatives were scattered all over
the valley, so that she could never really escape from
them. An orphan, she had been brought up in the
home of her aunt, poor Mrs. Dismal Forebodings,
with her two cousins Gloomy and Spiteful and their
brother Craven Fear, a great bully who habitually tormented
and persecuted her in a really dreadful way.”
HAPPY READING!!!

This writing is based on the sermon on Goodness and Kindness preached on 7/08/2012 by Matt Cassidy. Check out http://www.grace360.org

GOD BLESSED THE BROKEN ROAD

Bless you exile, you have made God my refuge, my country, my home;

Bless you loneliness, you have made Christ my confidant, my friend, my trust;

Bless you loss, you have made Christ my comforter, my counselor, my hope;

Bless you adversity, you have made Christ my Judge, my advocate, my victor;

Bless you sickness, you have made Christ my healer, my balm of Gilead, my strength;

Bless you sorrow, you have made Christ my joy, my laughter, my song;

Bless you lacking, you have made Christ my portion, my provision, my Shepherd;

Bless you cross, you have made Christ my life, my love, my vision;

Bless you storm, you have made Christ my peace, my horizon, my goal;

Bless you weakness, you have made Christ my warrior, my might, my boast;

Bless you broken road, you have made Christ my need, my thirst, my gain, my solid ground, my all.

The above was written after listening to the words of this song by Rascal Flatts: http://youtu.be/7a47fEuB9vo

One thing I have learned in my life is that in good times and bad times, Christ and His promises are the only guarantees we can truly stand upon.  I believe with all my heart His promises He has spoken over my soul for the last couple of years (even now) from Jeremiah 29:11:”For I know the plans I have for you; Plans to prosper you and not harm you; Plans to give you hope and a future.” are true and I wait for them expectantly as I pursue Christ and His leading.  I know even though weeping may last for the night, that joy comes with the morning…..And the sun will shine through and after the storm bringing forth life as do the promises of God. I am excited and celebrate their fulfillment as He who promised is not a man that He should lie, or a Son of man that He should change His mind.  He is a God who acts on what He has spoken and a God who fulfills what He has promised to the glory of His name.

BUT Joy cometh with the morning, as Cherry Blossoms after winter: There is glory in the Cross.