The Heart of God

“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

This famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln helps us understand we do not have the power or wisdom to know what is in a person’s heart. A person’s words, desires, and deeds provide insight but not the assurance. We don’t have the wisdom or power to see into the heart of another. Only God can see into the depths of one’s heart. But God has revealed his heart to those who will hear his words, embrace his desires, and see his deeds. He wants us to know the truth found in his heart.

blogcross-792538__340To his people-

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying,

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:

therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”

Jeremiah 31:3

Not only does God love his people but Jesus, God the Son, states his love for the world –

“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 3:16

John, the Lord’s disciple, writes a brief description in two verses revealing the heart of our God.

“God is love…”

1 John 4:8,16

His words speak his love. His deeds prove his love. When we were his enemies with nothing to offer him, He drew us to himself. He sacrificed his Son in order to make us his own family. He has given us an inheritance in his kingdom. Today, we who belong to him, have everlasting abundant life – a life overflowing with the love of our Father. One day the abundance of today will melt into eternity in an exceedingly abundant life with him. This is his heart’s desire – to have a people who will receive and return that love forever.

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,

and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”

Matthew 22:37

This command was first given in the Old Testament and here again in the New by Jesus Christ. Being a command means a choice lays before us. We choose whether to love or not, and to what degree we return the love of God to him. But if it’s not returned with all our being, does it constitute love?

He showed us love. He opened his heart to us, withholding nothing back. Will we open our hearts to him? The apostle John tells us how.

“Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,

God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

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…

We love him,

because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:15,16,19

  • The Father’s words tell us of his love. He is true and cannot lie.
  • He desires to pour out his love on us. We need only receive his word of truth.
  •  His deeds prove his love. He has withheld no good thing from us.

In all honesty, I struggled with this post. For I believe it is beyond my comprehension to fully express God’s heart of love. One day my partial understanding will meet my Savior face to face, then I will know fully the height, depth, width, and length of the love filling God’s heart.

How do you express the love of God to others?


As a side note, two bloggers use poetry to express God’s love. I encourage you to visit their sites if you haven’t already. Warren Richards at wcr281.com; and  darylmadden.wordpress.com

Why a Lamb?

pexels-photo-891607.jpeg“…they shall take to them every man a lamb…Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year…kill it in the evening…take of the blood, and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it…it is the LORD’’s passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt…and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses…and when I see the blood, I will pass over you…”(Read the whole account in Exodus 12).

Why a lamb? Scripture gives us a clue.

“And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham; But made his own people to go forth like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock… Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture…All we like sheep have gone astray… ” DSCF4322(Ps.78:51,52; Ps. 100:3; Isa. 53:6).

Born in sin, the Israelites deserved the same judgment as the Egyptians. God likens his people to sheep. Only a sinless lamb could provide the blood covering for the sin of another sheep, theirs and ours.

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29.

“Behold…”  Take a good long hard look at Jesus. “…this is the Son of God… Father, the hour is come: glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was… I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”( John 1:34; John 17:1-5;Rev:18).

“the Lamb of God…he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter… Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things…But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot; Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God…… Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil… (Isa. 53:b;1Pet. 1:18-21; Heb. 2:14).cross-sunset-sunrise-hill-70847.jpeg

“which taketh away the sin of the world…For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son…Christ also suffered for us…Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed…that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life… For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (a weaving of John 3:16 & 2Peter 2:24,25).

“Purge out therefore the old leaven,

that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.

For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:

Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven,

neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness;

but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” 1Cor. 57,8.

The sinless Lamb of God died for his wayward sheep, to return us to the Shepherd of our soul. How will you celebrate the feast of Passover, remembering its results are not for one day or season but for eternity? May your life be found in worship of the Lamb, for,

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain

to receive power and riches, and wisdom, and strength,

and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Rev. 5:12.

Amen.

 

 

 

Rich in Mercy…Great in Love…Exceeding in Grace

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“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us…” Eph. 2:4.

I addressed God’s abundant mercy in an earlier post this week, King of Glory, The Sequel, but in no way did I exhaust the topic, nor will these few verses conclude something that is inexhaustible.

“But God, who is rich in mercy…He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us…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.”(Ps. 103:10-12;1Pet.1:3-5).

“…for his great love wherewith he loved us…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee….Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God…Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us…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… As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love…abide in his love…that your joy might be full…Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends…But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Jer.31:3; 1John 3:1,16; John 3:16;John 15:9,10,11,13; Rom. 5:8).

 “…dead in sins…” Death is not the cessation of existence. It is the conscious existence of separation from God as a result of sin.

“For the wages of sin is death… The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead… For mine iniquities are gone over mine head; as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me… if one died for all, then were all dead…by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned;”( Rom. 6:23; Prov. 21:16; Ps. 38:4; 2Cor. 5:14;; Rom. 5:12).

“…quickened…together with Christ…” Quickened is to be made alive to God. Where death is separation from God, quickened is communion or fellowship with God.

“And you, being dead in your sins…hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses…to them that believe on his name: Which were born…of the will of…God…born of the Spirit…Ye must be born again… Wherefore he saith, AWAKE THOU THAT SLEEPEST, AND ARISE FROM THE DEAD, AND CHRIST SHALL GIVE THEE LIGHT … God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Col. 2:13; John 1;12,13; John 3:6,7; Eph. 5:14Col. 2:12,13;1Cor. 1:9).

Rich in mercy, great in love, exceeding in grace

“…in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith;…it is the gift of God…For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men… For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich…we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved… Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life… And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord… Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”(Titus 2:11; 2Cor. 8:9; Acts 15:11; Rom 3:24; Titus 3:7; 1Tim. 1:14; Rom. 6:23b; 2Cor. 9:15).

Thank you, Father for your rich mercy, forgiving our sin and giving us hope; for your great love that makes us your sons and daughters; for your grace that has gifted us with salvation through Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

 

Uncertain Certainties

“For this reason in one day her plagues will come…For in one hour your judgment has come…for in one hour such great wealth has been laid waste…for in one hour she has been laid waste!”  From Rev. 18

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A spouse deserts a commitment meant for life. The phone jolts you from sleep. The doctor relates grim news. A siren blares. Violent men shatter your peace. The winds blow and the sea rages. One moment sends tremors through time stopping the world you once knew. The certainties of this life hang in uncertain days.

“In the world you have tribulation…” Trouble comes. We all experience it. It is a certainty. “I…saw…the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net…and birds…in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.” Ecc. 911-12, my bold.

The nature of this life is certain, the whens and hows of life are the uncertainties. Sounds depressing until you know the rest of the truth.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.

The One who loves us and gave Himself for us has overcome the world, because He has, we will through faith, for He lives in us. The most certain of certainties is Jesus’ love for His own. Paul says it this way in Romans 8:35, 37. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword…But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world-our faith.”1 John 5:4.

How can we walk in victory in such uncertain times? “And we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear…We love, because He first loved us.” 1John 4:16-19. You are loved and cared for by God Almighty. He proved it with outstretched arms on a cross. He is with  you and will never leave you. Take courage.

Praying you know the depths, height and width of Christ’s love for you, that when uncertain certainties drop into your life you can stand victorious.