God So Loved

picture courtesy of Pintrest

“For God so loved the world…”

Beginning with Abraham, God revealed His plan to bring all people, not just Israel, to himself one generation after the other.

“and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

Genesis 12:3.

God chose Israel to be the avenue of His blessing on all. The book of Jonah unwraps the truth of God’s love and mercy for all people in a most unusual way.

“Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah.

And Jonah was in the belly of the fish

three days and three nights.”

Jonah 1:17.

Jesus likened his own death to Jonah’s* experience. Keep in mind Jesus does not call Jonah’s account a parable but in truth an event. So in truth if you believe Jonah is a myth, how does that translate into what you believe about Jesus death and resurrection?

“For as Jonas was three days and three nights

in the whale’s belly;

so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights

in the heart of the earth.”

Matthew 12:40

In Jewish culture at that time any portion of a day(24 hour period which includes the night) is spoken of as a day. Even as I might say, “I spent the day with my friend,” but was there only 4 or 5 hours. The phrase is a figure of speech. The important issue remains in what Jesus said about His own death and resurrection.

“And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them,

The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:

And they shall kill him,

and the third day he shall be raised again…”

Matthew 17:22,23.

Even as Jonah was not held by the fish…

“And the LORD spake unto the fish,

and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”

Jonah 2:10.

Death could not hold our Lord.

“And the angel answered and said unto the women,

Fear not ye:

for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.

He is not here:

for he is risen, as he said.

Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Matthew 28:5-6

As Jonah went to his grave to learn obedience…

And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh ,

according to the word of the LORD…

And Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey,

and he cried, and said,

Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

Jonah 3:1-4.

As did Jesus.

“And being found in fashion as a man,

he humbled himself,

and became obedient unto death,

even the death of the cross.”

Philippians 2:8.

When Jonah obeyed many, a whole city came to salvation. Some estimate 600,000 filled Nineveh.

  • “So the people of Nineveh believed God,
  • and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth,
  • from the greatest of them even to the least of them…
  • let man and beast be covered with sackcloth,
  • and cry mightily unto God:
  • yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands…
  • And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;
  • and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not…

Why? Because God is…

“a gracious God, and merciful…”

Jonah3:5,8;4:2

God desires mercy rather than judgment. In His mercy He placed our judgment on His Son.

Jesus’ obedience brings many…many more to salvation than even in Jonah’s day.

“For if through the offence of one many be dead,

much more the grace of God,

and the gift by grace,

which is by one man, Jesus Christ,

hath abounded unto many…

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners,

so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Romans 5:15,19.

Why did God do this thing?

“For God so loved the world,[that is you and me],

that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 3:16,17.

Just before Jesus’ crucifixion He told his disciples…

“because I live, ye shall live also.”

John 14:19.

  • Do you know the risen living Savior?
  • Do you believe He died to take your sentence of death because of sin?
  • Do you believe He rose again and lives so you can live eternally with Him?
  • How you answer these questions determines your path of life today and into eternity

Please, share in the comments if you have questions or if you want to receive Jesus gift of forgiveness and life.



*Jonah is translated Jonas in the KJV.

Here Comes the Groom

pexels-photo-291759.jpegThe Song of Solomon relates the beauty found in marriage as our Creator designed it to be. Solomon portrays young love in courtship and the ever-growing love found when the relationship is consummated.

Women today might not appreciate some of the comparisons he uses to describe the beauty of his bride.

“thy hair is as a flock of goats”, “thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate”, “they neck is like the tower of David.”

But to his bride Solomon makes it clear she’s beautiful and to be desired.  In response 3 times she makes it evident she is secure in her bridegroom’s love.

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” (2:16;6:3; 7:10).

This song of marriage not only relates Solomon’s love for his bride but it also gives us a picture of 2 other love relationships.

Yaweh God with Israel:

“For thy Maker is thine husband;

the LORD of hosts is his name;

and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel:

The God of the whole earth shall he be called…Isaiah 54:5;

I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God,

and thou becamest mine…

And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty:

for it was perfect through my comeliness,

which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.”

Ezekiel 16: 8b, 14.

Christ Jesus, Son of God, with the church:

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy;

for I have espoused you to one husband,

that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ…

2 Corinthians 11:2;

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands,

as unto the Lord.

For the husband is the head of the wife,

even as Christ is the head of the church;

and he is the saviour of the body…

Husbands, love your wives,

even as Christ also loved the church,

and gave himself for it…

For no man ever yet hated his own flesh;

but nourisheth and cherisheth it,

even as the Lord the church:

For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

FOR THIS CAUSE SHALL A MAN LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER,

AND SHALL BE JOINED UNTO HIS WIFE,

AND THEY TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH.

This is a great mystery:

but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

Ephesians 5:22,23,25,28-32.

In the days of Christ the engagement or espousal bound a couple by covenant. This lasted until the groom made a home for his bride, usually about a year. Then he would come and take her to be with him. When she heard of his coming she would take her friends to meet him.

Today the church, which is the bride of Christ, waits for her bridegroom. He promised to return for her, for us who are followers of Christ.

“In my Father’s house are many mansions:

if it were not so, I would have told you.

I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again, and receive you unto myself:

that where I am there ye may be also.”

John 14:2,3.

What will that day be like when our Beloved Bridegroom comes for His bride?

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,

even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him…

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout,

with the voice of the archangel,

and with the trump of God:

and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Then we which are alive and remain

shall be caught up together with them in the clouds,

to meet the Lord in the air;

and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14,16,17.

Then the celebration that never ends begins.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:

for the marriage of the Lamb is come,

and his wife hath made herself ready.

And to her was granted

that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white:

for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints.

And he saith unto me, Write,

Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

And he saith unto me,

These are the true sayings of God.”

Revelation 19:7-9.

When will our Beloved come for us? I don’t know. He tells me in his word, soon. That’s what I believe. He said He would and He will. In telling the parable of the 10 virgins, Christ says,

“And at midnight there was a cry made,

Behold, the bridegroom cometh;

go ye out to meet him…

and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage:

and the door was shut…

Watch therefore,

for ye know neither the day nor the hour

wherein the Son of man cometh.”

(from Matthew 25:1-13).

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine…I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.”

There was nothing of ourselves making us desirable, yet, He does, and clothes us in fine white linen. How amazing is His love towards us.


As this world grows more and more out of control, how can believing these truths give you comfort?

How do these truths effect the way followers of Christ live while waiting for His return?

My Father’s Luv-a-by

DSCF0328“But none saith, Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night;” Job 35:10

 “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” SOS 7:10.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love: and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1John 4:16.

No matter what the circumstances life throws at us, we can be assured the heavenly Father loves us. He proved it on the cross of Jesus Christ. What more must He do to convince us?

Most who read this know my mom is afflicted with dementia. It is a hard unrelenting disease that steals a person’s mind. But it cannot steal the spirit that has been born again.

As I, my daughter, my brother, and my husband minister to the needs of Mom and many others minister to us in prayer, the road oftentimes is hard as many of you know for you have faced it too. But the Father sustains us all. He tells us in 1Corinthians 10:13:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

He is our escape, our strength, our hope, our song in the night. In fact, His “Luv-a-by” to me is the song, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us”, by Stuart Townsend. If you have a minute you can hear it on YouTube. It’s not the only song He gives me in the night but it is the song He has awakened me to in the past week when things have been especially hard.

May we all rejoice,  

“to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3. 19.

Does the Father ever wake you with a song? If so, share it with us.

And may you walk in the full knowledge of the Beloved’s love for you.

 

A Long Dream

“In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion…

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth…

O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.” (Select verses from Psalm 71).IMG_1951

My mom gave me a glimpse into her world of dementia at eighty-eight years of age. Her world consists of a beautiful young lady laughing and singing on an old fashioned wagon hayride drawn by horses, fun at the softball field with her lanky boyfriend, and families enjoying picnics on the church grounds.

 

Where did they all go in such a short time?

When the past fuses into the present, the teenager in a moment ages to eighty-eight. The home she grew up in looks nothing like the house she now lives in. Memories and the present swirl in a world of now, making no sense. In her words, “It’s like a long dream.”

Won’t you pray for her?

Mom longs to go home – home to her mom and dad; home to her lanky boyfriend that became her husband; home where her best Friend and Redeemer wait for her.IMG_1812

Only a week ago, in a lucid, Spirit-filled moment, we sat on my front porch. She glowed with peace and joy. One hand reached heavenward and a rarely seen radiant smile graced her face as she spoke to my daughter and me.

“I’m ready anytime Jesus wants to take my hand and take me home where I’ll be with Him forever. He could even come today.”

I believe Jesus may have answered her with the following words.

“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee…

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself: that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Heb. 13:5b; John 14:1-3).IMG_0878

 

One day, Jesus will reach His hand and take hers in His. Until then, He will walk with her through her long dream until she reaches her destination. He will never leave or forsake her. Even now He  walks the way with His hand in hers by faith. One day faith will give way to sight. Thank you, Jesus!

Of Love and Faith

blogdesperate-2676556__340What steals your peace in sleepless nights?

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.” Mark 11:22

  • “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1John 4:9,10.
  • “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.” Rom. 8:32.
  • “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. “ 1John 4:16.”
  • “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38,39.

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29,30.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.” 1John 4:17-19.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6.

Is it fear of…

losing your job? a bad diagnosis from the doctor’s office? world events? someone near to you dying? facing your own death?

However you answer the question, having faith in God is the answer, faith in His love for you. When you understand the magnitude of His love that dwells in your heart, His love gives birth to your love of Him. Your love for Him is made perfect/complete through His love for you. You have nothing to fear. The King of kings, Lord of lords, Creator of all things, Redeemer and Savior loves you.  Sleep well tonight.

“Have faith in God.”


Hoping the next post to update you on the Lord’s working in the ministries of this summer.

A Perfect Love

bloglove-699480_960_720
Image courtesy of pixabay

It is good that I am not God. Now, after the shouts of, “Hallelujah!” and “Amen!” cease from being heard around the world, I will continue. And why do I say that it’s not good for me to be God? Bypassing the obvious, take a look at the following scripture.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because  as he is, so are we in this world.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1John 4:16-18.

My love is not perfect. My love would say and do what I could to end someone’s suffering for the moment, because I would not want to see that one hurting. This mindset comes from being able to see only this moment in time.

I’m writing this as I watch my Mom suffer the effects of dementia. Her mind rages in a storm of confusion and anxiety most days. She cries out to go home; for the Lord to take her home. Yet, she remains. In thinking on these things, the Lord’s Holy Spirit whispered into my heart, “because my love for her is perfect, and…

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28.

I can’t often see the good the Lord is working in her but because I know my God is faithful and true, I know He is working for her good. Above and beyond that He is working for my good. This goodness will turn to glory for Him and for us. There is a purpose.

God’s love is perfect. His love allowed, ordained, and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer the pains of humiliation, crucifixion, and separation for the good He would do in His Son. It brought forth the Son’s resurrection and glory, as well as, insuring our own resurrection and glory.

God’s love did not keep His Son from suffering when He called out to His Father,

“Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:

 nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.” Luke 22:42.

The Son took His cup of suffering and finished it.

“It is finished.” John 19:30.

As the Son’s suffering came to its end, so, the Father will bring our suffering to its end…but only when suffering’s work is completed in us.

At this moment in time the suffering continues, the hurt we feel for the suffering continues, and the sure hope of deliverance continues, because as the Son was delivered so shall we be.

Because God’s love is perfect, He allows and has ordained our suffering to work a completed work in us and through us; a work that brings good for more than just the sufferer. There is glory being worked in us now, and a future glory that follows.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” 2Cor. 4:17.

I saw a bit of that glory this morning in my Mom as she spoke of her assurance of eternal glory and her desire to go home. One day she will know the complete glory of the Lord as she sees His face for the first time. Until then…

“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence. I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him. God is a refuge for us. Selah.” Psalm 62:5-8.

And let us continue…

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame,

and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb. 12:2.

One day, all who believe will see Him there, face to face. How small our trials will seem then. Thank you, Jesus for your perfect love.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” 1Peter. 3-7.

 

Loving God?

“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, HEAR, O ISRAEL; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD:blogheart-2028062__340

AND THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD THY GOD

WITH ALL THY HEART,

AND WITH ALL THY SOUL,

AND WITH ALL THY MIND,

AND WITH ALL THY STRENGTH:

this is the first commandment.”  Mark 12:29-30

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God:

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD…And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.” Josh. 24:15,24.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Matt. 6:24.

“He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” John 14:21,23.

Love-Agapao-a direction of the will (it’s a choice) and finding joy in it; it directs our morality.

with all thy heart,

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness: and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Rom. 10:10.

Heart-Kardia-It came to stand for man’s entire mental and moral activity, both rational and emotional elements.

and with all thy soul,

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Rev. 4:11.

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth:

and That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2:9-11.

Soul-Psuche-that immaterial part of man held in common with animals…the life element. (My interpretation-with our whole created being).

and with all thy mind,

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened: that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…” Eph. 1:17,18.

“FOR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD;

I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS: AND WRITE THEM IN THEIR HEARTS:

AND I WILL BE TO THEM A GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE TO ME A PEOPLE..” Heb. 8:10,11.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.” Prov. 3:5,6.

Mind-Dianola-understanding (Start with the understanding you have and God will add to it as you grow in His grace and knowledge.)

with all thy strength,

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” Josh. 1:9.

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.” Ps. 84:5.

”I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Rev. 3:8.

Strength-Ischus-physical power-possibly health-ability-might

What does a life lived with this kind of love for the Father look like? Is it possible to measure our love for God? Hopefully, wherever our love for Him is at this time, tomorrow it will be greater


Definitions are taken from the Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible and Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Bible Words, plus a few ideas of my own.

Are You Loved?

 “I have loved you, saith the LORD.

Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?

Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

and I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage

waste for the dragons of the wilderness.” Mal. 1:2,3

bloglove-699480_960_720
Image courtesy of pixabay

When life gets hard and yes, it does get hard. There are disappointments, pain, sickness, and death. Do these things cause you to wonder if God loves you? Have you like, Israel, accused God of not loving you? Have you ever felt like an Esau instead of Jacob?

Esau was the object of God’s hatred for sin. Esau defied God in pride.

“Whereas Edom saith,

We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places;

thus saith the Lord of hosts,

They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever.”Mal. 1:4

Jacob and Esau, twins, one coveted the blessing of his father, the other despised it and sold it for a morsel of bread. Both were born in sin but one believed the blessing of his father would bring him riches. The other only cared about satisfying his fleshly appetites. Jacob went about receiving the inheritance the wrong way, but eventually came to God his way. Esau forfeited it altogether. Jacob came to know the love of God. Esau would inherit only the wrath of God. Neither boy possessed qualities to endear them to or make them worthy of God’s love, nor do we. Yet, we find in Romans 5:8-11…

 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son,much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” Rom. 5:8-11.

“I have loved you, saith the LORD.

Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us?”

cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are haled. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isa. 53:3-6

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…

And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: Where they crucified him…When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost…John 19:17, 18a, 30…

 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life…

blog tombb796a201f64ff34f04fe09f604ff0ae4--easter-crafts-crafts-for-kids“And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus…He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.” John 24:3,6,7

If you are asking, Does God love me, look at the cross and know the love of God, look at the resurrected Lord and know you have inherited everlasting life.

 

 

“Redeemed! How I Love to Proclaim It!”

When Ruth obeyed the counsel of her mother-in-law, she did nothing promiscuous. She sought salvation through submission to the one able to save her from a life without hope to a glorious hope. She sought Naomi’s kinsman redeemer for her own.

 “And she went down unto the floor, and did according to all that her mother in law bade her. And when Boaz had eaten and drunk and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down.” Ruth 3:6,7.

According to the custom of the day, Ruth’s actions mirrored those of a servant relying on the complete mercy of the master. Boaz’ response reflects Israel’s Kinsman Redeemer who is our own.

Boaz Redeems Naomi through Ruth:

“And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s of the hand of Naomi. Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.” Ruth 4:9,10.

Boaz, a near kinsman, proved  able to pay the purchase price of redemption. He also showed himself willing to pay it.

God, our Maker,pexels-photo-291759.jpeg Redeems Israel and Us through Christ, the Holy One of Israel:

“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.” Isaiah 54:4-8,17.

Christ Our Kinsman:

“But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons…Gal. 4:4,5;

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren…Heb. 2:11; For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matt. 12:50.

Christ Our Purchase Price for Redemption:

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“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him…2Cor. 5:21;

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens…Heb. 7:24-26;

For the wages of sin is death…” Rom. 6:23a.

Christ Our Willing Payment:

“As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father…John 10:15-18;

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13.

Our Response and Reward:

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Image by pixabay.

“And they sang a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation: and hast made us unto our God kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth…Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Rev. 5:9-13.

May we, as Ruth, lay our lives at the Redeemer’s feet, follow him to the empty tomb and receive the sure hope of life everlasting. Our Bridegroom is coming.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28.

 

 

Do You Long to Belong

The human heart aches to belong. The ache wrestles with life seeking companionship with something: The orphaned or abused child lays claim to family through any extending the smallest kindness. The teen chooses to follow, for better or worse, those inviting him into their circle; The adult attaches herself to whatever relationship will feed the need. Even our Almighty God longs for a people to call His own.

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and thy shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Rev. 21:3.

The Book of Ruth relates one woman’s choice in the right direction to fill the need to belong.  It began with an unlikely friendship, by today’s standard, between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law.ruth

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.” Ruth 1:16,17.

A SIDE NOTE

I am one blessed to have had a wonderful, godly mother-in-law that taught me about grace and forgiveness, of love in action. I miss her as much today as I did thirty years ago when the Lord called her home. But one day I will see her again.

BACK TO RUTH AND MY STORY

 Ruth is the account of one Gentile woman’s adoption into the Jewish family by two choices; One, her marriage to a Jewish man, and the second continuing in that family after his death. Both choices were sealed by a covenant. Ruth is my story and it begins back in Genesis.

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3.

Being young in years and faith, I became jealous of the Jewish people. I wanted to be among God’s chosen. I wanted to belong to this elite group of God’s. I wanted to be a Jew. I didn’t yet understand what Paul told the believers in Galatians 3:6-8, 26-29.

“Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (That was me) through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith(That’s me now!) are blessed with faithful Abraham…

FOR ALL

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus(That’s any who believe).. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

God did not choose Abraham to the exclusion of all others, but to the inclusion of all by faith. The Book of Ruth gently reminds us, Gentiles are not forgotten in His plan. He has made the way for all to belong to Him, to be His children.

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God…For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 1:12,13; 3:16.

DOES YOUR HEART LONG TO BELONG?

There is only one way to find peace for the longing.

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6.

Unlike Ruth’s covenant with Naomi which ended with death, death has no power over God’s covenant.

”For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom. 8:38,39.