Tag Archive for God’s love

God’s Burning Love

God is love (1 John 4:8).
He is deep,
changeless love.
All He does,
all He says,
all He is
is love.

His love –
deeply desiring the very best for all He has made –
His power –
creating, supporting, and ruling all He has made – and
His wisdom –
completely knowing all He has made –
are infinite and
His love reaches everywhere
His power and His knowing go.
He completely knows and
completely loves
all He has made.
His infinite power,
infinite wisdom, and
infinite love
are simply different aspects of
His all-ness.

There is no indifference in His love –
to not even the slightest degree.
No coolness.
No distance.
No half-heartedness.
No distraction.
No unthinking routine.
His love is a fire
that blazes eternally,

But His love never forces itself on any of us.
He whispers.
He woos.
And yes, He sometimes shouts.
But then He always waits.
He never enters without an invitation.
He watches for even the smallest, weakest response, then
fans it into flame,
as His creature allows.

Father, I love You!
Help me to love You and
know You
more and

Hymn: Your Ceaseless, Unexhausted Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

Unearned Love

Father, I cannot earn Your love for me.
I am unworthy.
I don’t deserve Your
deep, tender affection for me.

You love me,
not because I am lovely,
but because You are loving.
You are not repulsed by
my ignorance,
my immaturity, or
my imperfections.
You are my Father, and
I am only a child.
I have not earned Your love.
You love me
because of who You made me to be,
because of who You long for me to be,
because of who I am to You.

But Lord, because You love me,
I want to be lovely
as You are lovely.
Because You love me,
I want to be more like You.
Because You are so near to me,
I want to be pure and pleasing to You.

O Father, may Your love draw me
closer and closer to You!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: So Unworthy
Printed Music & Lyrics

Love’s Wisdom

It was getting late on a weeknight, and I had to pick up my children at church after an activity. When I arrived, I found they had volunteered me to take one of their friends home – one who lived a number of miles in the opposite direction. To me, that was totally illogical. Why should I forfeit so much time when she had a parent at home who should pick her up, just as I had picked up my kids. So I politely suggested that she should call her mother to come get her.

But when I saw her strained smile as she walked away from our van, I knew I had made the wrong decision. I felt cheap and unkind.

Life is filled with situations that force us to decide how far we will extend ourselves for others, whether the “others” are family, fellow workers, or starving people half a world away. Often what seems “right” and “logical” is doing what seems best for us.

But the New Testament speaks of two sets of ideas about what is right and wrong – two kinds of “wisdom”. The Bible says the world’s wisdom is based on selfishness.

This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. (James 3:15, NASB)

Unfortunately, as Christians living in this unspiritual world, we often follow that selfish, unspiritual wisdom in dealing with others. We instinctively and jealously protect our comforts, our “rights”.

But another kind of wisdom exists:

Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.
The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13, 17-18, NASB)

I’m discovering that love has its own wisdom, and the wisdom of God is the wisdom of love. It is peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy. The peace that it brings blesses not only the giver and the receiver, but those around them.

That’s the kind of wisdom I wish I had followed that night at church. I’m sure it whispered its guidance, but I only listened to m own anxieties. If we listen to love, it will brings this beautiful lifestyle:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NASB)

I want this wisdom to guide and fill my life every day. Fortunately, it is not dependent on our intellectual ability. God’s wisdom doesn’t just impart information. It guides and shapes our thoughts, our emotions, and our reactions. It shapes us, from the inside. This living wisdom flows from His living presence in our hearts. And because it is His wisdom, it makes us think and react more like Him.

His Spirit makes this wisdom constantly accessible for all the ordinary moments and normal demands, as well as for the crisis times. It is part of the living treasure of Christ in us.

But we must look to Him, and ask, and trust.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5, NASB) 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Live in Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

Through Eyes of Love

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all. (Philippians 1:3-4, NASB)

On Facebook I’m often struck by how people absolutely glow when they talk about those they love, especially their families: children, grandchildren, spouses, and parents.

What’s more, these family members also glow when described by those who love them. Through indifferent eyes, they would appear ordinary and deeply flawed. But through eyes of love, these human creatures glow with uniqueness, beauty, and potential. They are genuinely special! Love gives us a glimpse into the lovely and intriguing creations they were designed to be.

God sees each of us through such eyes of love. And He calls us, challenges us, and implores us to see each other as He sees us, through His loving eyes and His loving heart. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Look to You, and You Are Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

Undying Love

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Read Isaiah 54:1-10

The Old Testament prophets frequently talk about God’s relationship with His people as a marriage. Out of love, each makes promises to the other. They make a covenant, a contract, an agreement – not only a legal contract, but a contract of two hearts. They promise to honor, love, and be forever faithful. But Israel made promises that she could not keep and did not keep. What happened to the marriage then?

One of the most striking things about the Old Testament prophecies is their frequent pairing of horrific judgment with wonderful renewal. Israel sinned, repeatedly, grievously, over a long period of time, with total indifference toward their God. As a result, God was forced to let her reap what she had sown. But He would no more get the fierce words of judgment out of His mouth than He would be forgiving her, comforting her, wooing her to Himself.

He is a lover, a husband, whose love for His unfaithful wife simply will not die.

Love is as strong as death…
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, NASB)

Read Isaiah 54:1-10. Israel’s sin and God’s judgment have been deep and severe. Israel has flaunted her prolonged unfaithfulness to her Husband. For a time, she has been so devastated that she seemed like a widow, left completely and helplessly alone. But now how does God speak to her?

  • He cannot stay angry with her (v.9).
  • He shows her compassion, though she deserves none. Though she has wronged Him, His concern is for her (v.7).
  • He reaffirms His everlasting, never-dying love for her (vv.8, 10).
  • He takes away all her shame, all her disgrace. Imagine the deep shame of having been unfaithful to your spouse, then imagine the spouse removing it, completely and forever. What forgiveness! What renewal! (vv.4, 6)
  • He tells her again that He, the Creator of all, the Lord of all the heavenly armies, the Redeemer, is her loving husband (v.5).
  • He joyfully says she should make more room in their tent, for children are coming – lots of children! New life will be born from their love (vv.1-3).

Father, thank You for Your passionate, undying, life-giving love for us!

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Give Thanks to God
Printed Music & Lyrics


from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Isaiah 42:13-17; 43:14-21

When you need reassurance, picture these truths from Isaiah:

  • When you are threatened, your Creator charges out like a mighty warrior, raising a war cry, doing battle on your behalf. (42:13)
  • In His deep passion for you, your Maker is like a woman in labor, groaning, gasping, panting, crying out for your best. (42:14)
  • Your weaknesses and limitations do not limit God. He can do things for you that you could never do for yourself, things you could never imagine. (42:15-16)
  • When the situation looks the darkest, remember that you have not yet heard the end of the story. (43:14-15)
  • The God who parted the Red Sea to let His people through can move any difficulties out of your path. (43:16-17)
  • Your God did all these mighty deeds in the past, but He is not limited to the past. When His people are in need, the Creator delights to create something brand new. He is not done creating! (43:18-19)

Our Creator God is not bound
by the past or the present,
by our weaknesses or limitations,
by obstacles or roadblocks,
by norms or impossibilities.
Nothing can restrain His passionate love for His people.

Live Love

Imagine a world where everyone loves everyone else, sincerely, from the heart.

Imagine a place where people speak of each other only what is true, and only what will build each other up;

  • a place where everyone treats others the way they themselves want to be treated;
  • a place where self-centeredness, greed, and fighting are gone;
  • a place where people live each day as joined to everyone else, as part of each other, as members of one body;
  • a place where gentleness and kindness are highly prized;
  • a place where forgiveness, patience, and forbearance are the norm;
  • a place where need is no more, since each person shares what they have, freely and unafraid;
  • a place where everything, everything is done in love.

Wouldn’t you like to live in such a place? That’s the kind of world our Creator is building. And that’s the kind of life He wants for you. He wants to grow it in you. He wants to help you live such love in your home, on your job, in your neighborhood, among your friends. And He wants to start today.

But how could anyone live such a life in this world of greed and brute force? What’s more, how can we live that kind of love when selfishness is so deeply rooted within us?

The good news is this: God is love (1 John 4:16). Our Creator is love. The One who designed this world designed it for love. The One who designed us designed us for love. Love is our purpose, our heritage, our destiny. Love is the rich life, the full life, the natural life that He is giving to every one of us.

A life of love is not an heroic feat of self-control. As we trust Him simply, step-by-step, we grow in Him. As we grow in Him, He grows in us. His love grows in us. It begins as a tiny seed and grows into a beautiful tree that gives shelter and nourishment to everyone around.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Lord, You Are Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

I Am Your Creation

During some periods in my life, I’ve lived in a vague uneasiness about myself. I’ve felt a restlessness, an unsettledness within that was hard to pin down or identify.

Eventually I realized this stemmed from a clouding of my relationship with God. Though I had not totally rejected Him, I was reluctant to face Him, afraid to stand before Him unhidden. Perhaps I had let Satan steal my confidence through his false accusations. Or perhaps sin had crept in, and I knew deep within that I hadn’t been living as I should. As a result, guilt had separated me from a full, joyful relationship with God. I was hesitant to look into His face.

If you’ve ever experienced these feelings, try something with me. Close your eyes and bow your head, and see yourself standing before Him right now. In your heart look Him straight in the face and say, “God, I am Your creation.”

Go ahead, try it.

Listen. How does your heart respond when you say that?

I have a sense of being a child, standing before my Father, with my arms outstretched, looking up into His face. No matter what my struggles, He understands me. My sins and failures have not dampened His love. I’m enveloped in acceptance, an affection, a belonging that goes deeper than my childish inadequacies.

When our children fail or get in trouble, we don’t want them to hide from us or go to other sources for help. It hurts and frustrates our hearts when they won’t share themselves with us, even when they fall. We long for them to come to us and be assured of our love, understanding, and total support, no matter what they’ve done. Our Father is the same with us. We are His. Though sin brings a cloud and a separation from Him, the separation is on our end, not His. The love and acceptance still exist. He yearns for us to turn to Him again.

As I stand before Him as my Creator, realizing I am His very own, worship becomes a living relationship. At such times, words are unnecessary. Communication lines are open from heart to heart, without the formalities of speech. The love I sense for Him is worship. That trust growing within me is the adoration He desires.

Standing there, I long to live always in His presence, in that unbroken fellowship with Him. Sin appears now as foolish and destructive, soiling that beautiful, living relationship. I want Him to seal all my affections forever as His very own. I want to live fully and freely before Him—naturally, as His love designed.

And in that love, I want to glorify Him in every way I can. Creation so beautifully and lavishly glorifies Him, singing constantly of His power, His wisdom, His love. As His creation, I want to take my place in that symphony.

We are His creation, His children. That warm, open relationship is what He wants most for us, and with us. He only asks that we trust Him—trust Him enough to come to Him immediately and repent when we have sinned; trust Him enough to bring Him our needs and concerns; trust Him enough to obey His words of love.

He is a wonderful Father!

O Lord, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8, NIV)

Listen and sing:
Hymn: I Quiet Myself in Your Love
Printed Music & Lyrics

He Comes to Us

Hear this from Matthew 14:22-27 (NIV):

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. 

When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

When God’s loved ones are in need,
nothing can keep Him away.

He came to us on the Sea of Galilee.
He came to us on Golgotha.
He will come to us on that final day
on clouds with great power and glory.

Nothing can separate God from His people, and
nothing can separate us from His love.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: See Him Walk on the Water
Printed Music & Lyrics

When Messiah Came

“God so loved the world
that He gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish
but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world
to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him.”
(John 3:16-17, NIV)

When Messiah came,
we expected the defeat of our enemies.
We expected them to be
crushed, condemned, and consumed in a fiery judgment.

When Messiah came,
He taught us that the enemy is our own evil hearts.
Instead of judging us, He justified us.
Instead of consuming us, He cleansed us.
Instead of condemning us, He forgave us completely.
Instead of crushing us, He was crushed.

When Messiah came,
we expected a show of power.
Instead He showed us the power of love.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: Here Is Love
Printed Music & Lyrics