Intimacy of God’s Love

Intimacy of God’s Love

• Join us for Men’s Ministry this Saturday at 8:00a. Hot breakfast and coffee will be provided. Officers: prayer for the congregation begins at 7:00a.

• You are precious to God, something I don’t teach or dwell on enough. If he has counted you of greater worth than his own life, and he was not forced or coerced in that sacrifice (Jn 10:18), then your value in his eyes is more than significant, it’s extraordinary.

• Through the combination of casual usage and familiarity, we lose the force of phrases like “purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Even as a literary device alone it’s powerful — the notion of lifeblood being regarded as mere currency. But its force goes well beyond that. Lincoln used the same basic idea as a lesser-to-greater pivot in his speech at Gettysburg, saying the battlefield had been hallowed by the dead far beyond any power vested in the living. That power, Paul is saying, is the power of Christ’s love for his people. You would only use blood to pay for something you valued more than life itself. This is the value he places on you.

• I’m similarly moved by Job’s comment, “You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands” (Job 14:15). Job is speaking of a hypothetical that cannot occur now that ruin has come upon him. But his characterization of God’s heart is not hypothetical. “Longing” is a kind of pain, a word we use for a desire whose fulfillment is uncertain if not doubtful. It is in keeping with God’s character to love, but we don’t often think of him as longing for us, yet he does.

• One of the most striking phrases for me in recent years is from David in Ps 56:8 “You have kept count of my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” It’s David’s recognition of the personal intimacy of God’s care that moves me, his conviction that what matters to him, down to a single tear, matters to God. David lived a troubled life punctuated by victories of various kinds. Some of David’s most serious problems were the result of his own sin, yet he understood that the love of God comes in the face of sin, not the absence of it. This means you cannot, by your own sin, undo or diminish his love for you as his son or daughter. Your belonging to him is intimate, personal, detailed. He knows and carries our pain with greater attention to detail than we give it ourselves.

• Hold all this in your heart in this odd season of difficulty and death. The Lord’s love binds him to you. As he promised Moses, “my presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Ex 33:14).