Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Extreme God...Extreme Love
Many years ago the Lord showed me that His Word is like many pastures that He leads His people in to feed and water their souls. Those pastures of His grace are prepared for the hungry heart to find strength, faith, and rest as feed upon eternal truths that transform the soul from glory to glory.
Ephesians is a well known pasture to me and one that I have returned to recently. My soul has been in great need of being fed by the grace of God. I have been feeding upon Ephesians 2:4-5..
"But God, so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, even when we were dead (slain) by (our own) shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ, - He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him. For it is by grace - by His favor and mercy which you did not deserve - that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation)."
Intense love. It means strong in the most extreme degree. It means strenuous action or exertion. This is all on God's part towards us. This is how He loves us. An extreme love that had to be satisfied through the giving of His own Son to manifest that love. And the Son was in agreement with the Father in the expression of this love. He gave His own life, shed His own blood, and became our Peace, our High Priest that brought us to the Father by His own blood.
Oh, I need to be reminded of that intensity. I need to "know" that intensity of God's love for me. Growing in the knowledge of that love helps me to rest in God, helps me to love others the way God does, and helps me to not fall into despair at the current circumstances of my life.
God loves me intensely, not because of any work that I can do, but by His grace, unmerited favor, that I cannot earn nor deserve. I can only receive it by faith, because it is true. If God loves me this intensely, then everything He has planned for me is with that same intensity. He has committed Himself to me. He planned in love for me. He calls me His own workmanship (Eph. 2:10), and has prepared good works, good paths that He prepared ahead of time that I should walk in them.
Intense love. Love that will not let me go. Love that will not fail me. Love that is higher, deeper,wider, and longer than any love I have ever known. Love that changes me. Love that helps me. Love that never stops surrounding me with favor.
Ephesians 2:8 declares that the free grace that gave us Christ's salvation is "the gift of God". You can't earn a gift. When you work for something you receive payment for your work. We did not earn our salvation. We did not earn God's grace. We did not earn His love. There was nothing lovely in us that deserved it. We were dead in our sins, slain by our own transgressions, BUT GOD LOVED US INTENSELY AND GAVE US UNION WITH CHRIST WHEN WE WERE DEAD!
We cannot understand this. It is true because God wrote it to us. Let us accept this love by faith. Let us trust the Father's words to us. Let us rejoice in those words, and take them into our heart to bring peace, joy, and rest. Let us feed upon them until we are changed from "glory to glory" in the Father's Presence.
The Lord is our Shepherd. He will feed, guide and protect us. Accept that love today, and find rest for your soul.
Loving Him and you,