God’s Love is Eternal

Nine times out of ten when we think about love we concentrate too much on the love in the physical form as we know it because that is what we can see and feel. This type of love is able to be corrupted and become temptations which turn into sins when left unchecked. It happens to all of us during some point in our lives. But there is a love that is simple but at the same time goes way beyond our understanding. It is the Love that Our Creator Father, God, has for us. It is God’s Love for us that literally holds us together. Even when are disobedient, His Love for us is never failing. The Bible from cover to cover talks about His Great Love but here we will look atcertain aspects that conclude why He sent His Son.

  God’s love is steadfast and unchanging

 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9

How precious is your unfailing love, O God!  Psalm 36:7

 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.  Psalm 86:5

But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.  Psalm86:15

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures foreverPsalm 136:26

 God’s Love is eternal. Thereis no substitute for His Love as everything He does is because of His Love forus. God does not fall out of Love for His creation because He is our Father wholoves us no matter what. Because of God’s Grace, those who accept His Lovewithout question will receive it without end. 

 God’s love comforts us

 The LORD your God isin your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:2

He is our refuge and our strength, the fortress which protects us and provides shelter from the evilone. He is the Shepherd who watches over us and provides for us. Even in our darkest moments, God is there to lift us up. His Word is sweet music to our ears and hearts that guides us and gives us the strength we need.

God’s love is revealed to us through Jesus Christ

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in himshould not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy maybe full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down hislife for his friends. John 15:9-13

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud…it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians13:4-8

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.  Galatians 2:20

Jesus shows us what it means to truly Love one another. God’s Love is a sacrificial love which goes beyondall boundaries. The mystery of God’s Love is personified in Christ. Looking at John 15 above, Jesus tells them what He is about to have to do. Our sacrificial love does not always mean literally dying for someone but it does mean that we give up things that fill our hearts with something other than the people we call friends and family. It also means that we put others first before ourselves. When Jesus was put on the cross, all our faults, all our sins were placed upon Him so that He could sacrifice Himself and take our punishment so that we would not have to.  

God’s love is poured into us through the Holy Spirit

Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  Romans 5:2-5

God is forever with us in our hearts. His Spirit gives us the means to survive in this world through the confidence that the Holy Spirit will guide and protect us from all things that affect our spiritual well-being. We suffer in the world because we are no longer of the world but have found our place in the arms of God.

God’s love compels us to love one another

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:1

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.  Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:7-8

In this thel ove of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.   1 John 4:9-11

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved.  Ephesians2:4-5

  Our Father has shown us how to love in a deeper way than any human physical love can manifest. He gave to us a part of Himself through the birth, life, death, and ascension of His Son.He then left us with a Helper. This Helper, the Holy Spirit, actually connects us with each other as we see the Father’s work in others who have Jesus in their lives as Lord and Savior. WE are all Brothers and Sisters in the Spirit so our love truly does know no bounds.

We need to share this love.God’s Love goes far beyond the physical attributes. It carries us through our suffering and gives us the strength we need to make it through the day. It is what keeps us and protect us. God’s Grace is found in His Love that saves us. When Jesus was born, love re-entered the world and changed it. Share it because He first Loved us.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God 

Love Found In Bethlehem

This is the Second Sunday of Advent. On this day the second purple candle called the “Bethlehem Candle,” is lit. This candle represents love and symbolizes Christ’s manger. Bethlehem is a place of beginnings, nurturing, and nourishment which all depend on love.

 The Love that we celebrate over this Advent season has much deeper connotations than any other type of love. Jacob and Rachel were in the area that would be known as Bethlehem Ephrathah because that is where Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin, the 12th tribe of Israel. Benjamin means, “Son of my right hand”. Through Jacob’s favored son was Joseph, Benjamin held a deeper love in his heart because he was the last son of Rachel, his true love.

Bethlehem was the birthplace of David, a man after God’s own heart, and the one who was chosen to lead Israel. Finally, it is the place God spoke though Micah which would be the birth place of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the greatest outpouring of the Father’s Love for His creation.   

It is because of His Love for us that He gave Malachi this message:

See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant in whom you delight–indeed, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts.
But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap;
he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the descendants of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, until they present offerings to the LORD in righteousness.
Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in thedays of old and as in former years.
Malachi 3:1-4

 God provides a chance for us to find Him before He arrives on the scene. Malachi gives a glimpse in both the near and far future times when Jesus will first enter the world then upon His Glorious Appearing at the end of the age. God gives the Levites a chance to correct their mistreatment and perversions of the Word of God. When that does not work, God will step in and teach them so that they will speak the truth to the world.

For God So Loves The World

Despite the current social commentary, God does still love us and wants us to love Him back so He can have His inheritance which is a reconnection and personal relationship between us and Him. The world may think they have gotten past the need for God but He is needed now more than ever before.

When we look at the New Testament Book of Luke, we see a very loving Father:
“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us
that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins.
By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 1:68-79

Luke also speaks of the humbleness of Jesus by telling the story of His birth. It is God’s Love for all creation that He did not come in majestically with all the revelry that would be expected of a God King. He came to us as a child of a poor carpenter and his young bride from outside the main area of Judah, born in Bethlehem, the City of David.

God showed us that He is so mighty in power that He could be born in an area that was well hidden. The only ones who visited at first were the least respected but most important group known as shepherds.They were all family men who loved their flocks as if they were their own children. These shepherds knew exactly what to do because the final lamb sacrifice had just been born. In respect for the family they stayed quiet, only revealing the birth to the meek and lowly.

Love Changes Everything

God’s Great Love for us knows no bounds and He proved it by giving us Jesus. It was by His Love that He sent us the Word made flesh to return us to Him. It is this same Love that caused Him to make the greatest sacrifice any father could make. Jesus willingly gave His life so that we may live and love. We need His Love now more than ever. Will you join me in renewing the importance of His Love, His Life, and His Life? It is time to change back to His Love.

This week, reflect on God’s Love for us as we celebrate the approaching birth of the child who would be the great sacrifice so we may have life. Live for Him as we approach the new year. Love each other as He loves us.

Rob, Servant of God

Prophets of Hope

This first week of Advent we look at the hope of the birth of the Messiah and His triumphant return. To understand this hope we look towards the prophets. The first candle on the Advent Wreath represents not only hope but the prophesies that empowered this desire within the people.  Three of the prophets gave specific clues to the family, place, and actions of the Messiah who would be the Savior. The Messiah that the Israelites were seeking would save them physically but they did not fully understand that it would be their very souls which could be saved.

A Righteous Branch

The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” Jeremiah 33:14-16

The people knew from the time of David that his line would eventually produce one who would keep the tribes together. This ruler would be just and God-fearing by ruling with a loving heart. Here, Jeremiah is speaking of both times that our Savior/Messiah would come because He turned many back to God’s Word, disrupted and corrected man’s distortion of the law, and He will come again to restore Jerusalem as the seat of the eternal kingdom.    

The Place

Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us;
with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace
. Micah 5:1-5

Knowing that the Messiah would be of the line of David it is only fitting that He be born in the same vicinity. The message here is that He comes from more than just David but His lineage goes back as a direct link to Adam following the Holy line through Abraham. This passage also speaks of a full return of all the tribes. The Messiah will be the Great Shepherd to the people.  

The Child, the Light, the Savior

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice.
They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders.
You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war
will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His government and its peace will never end.
He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.
The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!
Isaiah 9:1-7 

The most poetic and well known prophesies is this. Isaiah speaks of the truth of the Messiah being the Holy Son of God who will reign over the world bringing a peace that is beyond human comprehension. His armies will defeat all evil and there will be no more bloodshed. We will finally have full communion with God. 

Signs and Wonders of His Return

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in a cloud’ with power and great glory.
Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Then he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees;
as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near.
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near.
Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly,
like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth.
Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Luke 21:25-36

Luke was not a prophet but he wrote down the words that were given to him from Paul and the Apostles that Jesus had spoken. Jesus speaks of His triumphant return and brings us hope of a future peace that will be eternal.  It is this hope that carries us through the days and encourages us in our bleakest times. The hope in waiting for His return gives us the joy that keeps us from being hopeless in the godless world we live in today.

How beautiful this season of Hope. Let us remain hopeful that He will return while letting the Holy Spirit guide us through each day. Let us also not dwell on doom and gloom but the glorious kingdom in heaven that awaits us. Keep hope in your heart and let it bring love, joy, and peace.

Blessings,

Rob, Servant of God