God Loves

drawing of the stick man hanging from a heart

God is love. (1 John 4:8)
God is good. (Luke 18:19)
God loves peace. (John 14:27)
God loves peacemakers. (Matthew 5:9)
God loves justice. (Isaiah 61:8)
God loves righteousness. (Psalms 33:5)
God loves humility. (James 4:10)
God loves meekness. (2 Corinthians 10:1)
God loves gentleness. (2 Corinthians 10:1)
God loves repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
God loves faithfulness. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. (John 3:16)

There are many more verses that speak to the love of God, but I hope you are encouraged today. The one true God. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Ancient of Days. The triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – loves you. He loves you deeply, individually, and uniquely.

If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then, through Christ Jesus, you have the ear of God, and He will grow in you all those characteristics list above, and more besides, for God is love.

If you have not yet received Jesus then you can learn how, here: https://www.rockexcavationservice.org/salvation/

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

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https://www.rockexcavationservice.org/abiding-love/

The Autumn of Christ’s Earthly Ministry

Autumn in Central Park, NYC

We live in an area of the country that experiences all four seasons. Recently, I’ve noticed that leaves are starting to fall, nightime temperatures are getting lower, and there is that familiar sense of change in the air. 

My wife always does a major spring and fall cleaning and sure enough, she’s started getting into her clean and pitch mode. She’s also weeding through our clothes to find the ones we don’t or can’t wear. She’ll take them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. And we’ve both started giving away or throwing away stuff. How do we accumulate so much stuff in just six months? It just seems weird.

Change of Seasons

One of the beautiful things about the change of seasons is that each season has its own character. And each season’s character is infectious; it invades us and stirs us. My wife and I look forward to trees dazzling us with the spectrum of autumn colors, to crisp fall air, church hay rides, sweaters, jackets and regal sunsets. 

Despite the subtropical climate of Israel, our Savior experienced an autumn. It was the autumn of His earthly ministry. When we read any of the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) we can feel the change of seasons when Jesus began His trek to Jerusalem. 

A Chill In The Air

He passes through Samaria and Perea. He enters Judea and finally He arrives in Jerusalem. Unlike His previous travels you can sense an urgency to His ministry. He has invested an eternity of plans and trust in His ragtag Apostles, knowing from before Creation that one would betray Him. Yes, there was a chill in the air.

Upon this journey Jesus predicts His death. Just as grape vines begin their “death” in autumn, likewise, on this journey, Jesus began preparing Himself and His disciples for His death and His resurrection. Jesus had entered the autumn of His earthly ministry.

From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

Matthew 16:21 (ESV)

Praise God for His Boundless Love

As we now enter autumn, let’s give praise to God for His boundless love and to Christ Jesus for His unstoppable will to fulfill all that His Father asked of Him. 
I invite you to join me in praising God while we listen to Keith Green’s “Oh, Lord You’re Beautiful”

Photo by Matthew Pla on Unsplash

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God is relationship

We had a track behind the building where I attended middle school; back then it was called Junior High school. The small town I lived in was very frugal, so the track was made entirely of cinders taken from the school’s coal-fired boiler. Trust me when I say that our small track team was far from the best, but we NEVER fell!

One day, the school’s principal called a friend and me to her in the hall. We both thought, “What did she find out!”, but no, there was a new boy in school, and she asked us if we would welcome him and help him get acclimated to our school.

Since my friend and I spent our lunchtimes walking around the track talking, we asked the new boy to join our small group. That’s how relationships are built.

In John 5:19 Jesus says, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” A few chapters later, Jesus says to Philip: Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

In what may be the first rhetorical question God was ever asked, Cain inquired of God in Genesis 4:9, “…Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now, maybe, Cain didn’t understand he was asking a rhetorical question. Maybe, that was the first rhetorical question EVER asked. Maybe, Cain invented the rhetorical question! Be that as it may, for God Cain’s question had to have seemed ludicrous. Obviously, you are your brother’s keeper. He’s your brother!

Here’s my point, buried here in my ramblings: Before Creation, before any created celestial beings, before before (not a typo), God “is” and one of His eternal attributes is relationship. God is Holy, God is Just, God is Love, God is Trinity. 

Being created in the image of God carries with it God’s attribute of relationship which is why solitary confinement in prison can easily drive people insane. We were never built to be an island unto ourselves.

With this understanding, we can draw at least two conclusions. First, God wants to be in relationship with you. If you want a deep relationship with God, He wants a deeper one. The second thing is this: God wants you to be in Godly relationships with others.

Therefore, if these are in God’s will then ask with confidence. You can pray these in the Name of Jesus. God will answer your prayer. Just be ready because He gives in good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing! 

God’s Crazy About You

A little boy is telling his Grandma how “everything” is going wrong.  School, family problems, bullies and so forth. Meanwhile, Grandma is baking a cake.

She asks her grandson if he would like a snack, which of course he does. “Here, have some cooking oil.” “Yuck,” says the boy. “How about a couple raw eggs? “ “Gross, Grandma!” “Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?” “Grandma, those are all yucky!”

Grandma smiles and replies: “Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake!

God works the same way.  Many times we wonder why he would let us go through such difficult times.  But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!  We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!”

Just think:

  • God is Crazy About You.
  • If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.
  • If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.
  • He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.
  • Whenever you want to talk, He’ll listen.
  • He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.
  • What about the Christmas gift He sent you in Bethlehem, not to mention that Friday at Calvary?

Face it, God’s crazy about you!

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