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Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Mystery of Love

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

'What is man', says the Psalmist, 'that You are mindful of him, and the son of man, that You visit him?'  What are we, that we should be found worthy to experience the Love of God Outpoured? What have we done, and who are we, that He, the Creator of all, should stoop so low as to bestow His Precious Love upon us, mere finite human beings as we are?

We sure don't feel like we are worthy of the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father, what with our rebellious nature and our complete and utter failure to follow His instructions at all times! Even with our feeble & finite minds, the greatness of His Love for us is impossible to fully grasp, much less to realize & rest in! We can be sure of one thing, though; He does love us with the unconditional love of a father, and not just any father; He is our Creator!

We know, even with our feeble & finite minds, that the Advent of the Son of God, Jesus who was the Christ, was the Revelation & Personification of the Love of God, and we can even understand, to some extent, how it could be that our Father would separate Himself and reveal that Love to humanity by inhabiting a mortal body, just so He could have a relationship with His Creation! Can we fully grasp the Impetus of this Love, though? Do we need to?

We are His Creation, and He is our Father; that's really all we need to understand in order to realize the Love of God! Like any father, the Love that our Father holds for us includes chastening, times of trial & tribulation when it seems He has forsaken us, or forgotten us. We may be assured, though, as the People of God, that He has not, nor will ever: Jesus promised His disciples, 'I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. ( John 14:18 ) later, He promised that 'If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. ( John 14:23 )

This is not to say that He does not  Love us when we fail to keep His Word ( perfectly ), or that Hee ceases to dwell with us ( forsakes ) us when we fail Him! As our Father, He does allow us to make our own mistakes and to pay the consequences for those mistakes, but only to a point; He protects us, as well, from making certain mistakes. Any earthly father, within reason, will teach his children, by experience if necessary, that this or that ( a hot stove, for instance ) will hurt you if you touch it, but he would never allow his child to jump in front of a speeding truck or other vehicle, and merely shrug his shoulders and say, 'he'll learn'! There are things which will harm & teach us, and there are things that will kill us!

If our Heavenly Father so Loves us, His Creation, should we not love one another with the same Love? We are but finite Creatures and He the Infinite One, but I believe, especially with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of Love that it is possible for us, mere human beings, to share the Love of God in like manner! Can we do this perfectly, as He does? Doubtless, we cannot! We are feeble & finite human beings and are made thus, but we can, through the Power within us, that is, within the Body of the Christ, where dwells the Infinite One, Love as we are Loved!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (I John 4:7 NKJV)

Amen & amen,

Charles Haddon Shank

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