Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Shed Abroad in Our Hearts

ImageThe flowering trees in our neighborhood are just beautiful. The azaleas in our flower bed have the most prolific blooms I’ve seen in years. I noticed some petals in my driveway that didn’t come from any of our trees. They were still full of color and as I looked around I spotted the source of the petals down the street. Evidently the winds of recent days had blown flowers beyond their normal dropping place beneath the trees. 
Just as the petals of flowers are shed and then cast farther than we can realize, so the love of God is for us. If we could sit and sip a cup of coffee or have a coke and open the Book of Love, I would want to tell you how loved you really are. It’s beyond comprehension I assure you. There are times when I still scarcely believe He loves me. Me. You know, the one who has flaws and faults and doubts and worries and fears. The one who makes mistakes, regrets the past and has real concerns about the future. 
I would bet you can relate. Have you ever said to yourself, “Surely if God knew all about me He wouldn’t love me, not really.” But oh beloved! He does know all about you. He knows more about you than you know yourself. And He does love you! This is a passionate, all encompassing, enduring, faithful, no-matter-what love! And, because you have put your trust in Christ for the Salvation of your very soul, God has put His magnificent love in your heart. It’s there whether you realize it or not, whether you appropriate the goodness of that incredible love or not, it’s there. But beloved, if you will appropriate that love, let those petals loose in your spirit, trust the casting of it across your heart and mind, God will explode in your heart and burst forth from your soul. 
God wants you to know that His love for you is the real deal. He never goes back on His love for you. Because of His Agape love, He will never renege on His commitment to you. He won’t look at you one day and say forget you. He won’t walk away or shut you out. Your name is written on the palm of His hand precious, precious one. Engraved, not just written, not tattooed – for writing can be erased and tattoos fade with time – but engraved! Eternal, permanent, forever. Engraved with His own precious blood, Christ says “you are Mine”. God says, “You are loved”. The Holy Spirit wants to pluck the lies of the enemy out of your heart and instead shower you with love and favor and gently bring you into a growing faith in God. Gently, not crudely, God’s love is ever so gentle. Hold some rose petals in your hand and feel their velvety delicateness – that’s how God feels about you in His hand. 
Why do you need to know this beloved? Why is God saying His love is shed abroad in your heart by Christ Jesus? For until you know this great love intimately, there will always be thorns coming from the enemy to keep you preoccupied with your troubles, your mistakes, your sins, your issues, your relationships. The enemy says you’re done for, but God always says we can work this out. Agape Love keeps on where everything else fails. God’s love is your point of surrender and your source of strength. No adversary can kill it for it is born of God Himself. The enemy wants you to believe you have to do something to be loved. He wants you to believe that God’s love is conditional. But God wants you to know that His love came first! You can let Him love you because He first loved you! Then you can love others, your life and ministry will be motivated by love and you can respond in love no matter what.
“Lord, we need Your love in our lives – Agape Perfect Love. We need to know this love, so we must get to know You better. Bring us into Your presence. Woo us with Your Love. Thank You for Your patience in letting us learn. But Lord don’t let us keep looking for the love we need in any other way or place or person. Don’t let us settle for cheap short-lasting substitutes. But give us your Love, shed it wide and long and deep into our hearts and minds so we can live it out and share it with others.”
Oh beloved, God loves you and He’s for you and that’s the beginning of the greatest love story ever told – your love story in Christ. 
Romans 5:5 …and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. KJV
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven. His faithful love endures forever.
Jeremiah 31:3 … “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
Romans 8:39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 36:5 Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

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