Daily Archives: March 1, 2012

Week 51, Part II: How He Loves

This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10

I can remember singing and playing the melody to the song “Jesus Loves Me” when I was a child. It was actually one of the first songs I taught myself to play…I barely remember it; my hands smaller than the expanse of two keys on the piano and my delightful giggle when I figured out the next note. Oh, how I loved that song.

Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
They are weak, but He is strong.

Let me ask you this: Do you truly, completely, whole-heartedly believe that?

This morning, my crew from The Vine Community was given another opportunity to lead worship at MN Teen Challenge. Imagine a room full of men and women singing praises to God at eight in the morning. Oh, what a beautiful and heart-rendering sound!

God has a tendency to surprise us…we were headed in one direction with the message topic, which had probably been chosen weeks, if not months ago, when He chose to send us down another path. The topic changed and another song was added to the mix; a new version/take on God’s love…something fresh…something beautiful: How He Loves.

The song started out with a blast of the bridge….singing how much God loves us at the top of our lungs…and it seemed to go on. I wanted to stay in that room forever; to stay at His feet forever.

One lyric in that song reminds me of Exodus 24:14 (NLT): …for the Lord…is a God who is jealous about His relationship with you.

The first time I read that verse, I cried. I’m not talking about just one short whimper. I’m talking flat out “I’m a mess!” crying. He is jealous for me…love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.

My challenge to you today: Be overwhelmed with His love for you.

He loves you more than you can fathom.

He loves me more than I can imagine.

He loves us more than we deserve.

The Rose of Sharon

Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:2

There’s just something about roses. They have been a favorite throughout time. We must want them in our homes because they’re manufactured on everything from furniture to bed linens. Lovers send them and many songs have been written about them. Why do we love roses so much? Perhaps because they are so beautiful but I think it is more than that. They are not only beautiful but they also smell so wonderful. Beauty with fragrance. What a combination!

In the words of Charles Spurgeon: “Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world in a tenfold degree. Amongst flowers the rose is deemed the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than the rose can in the gardens of earth. He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand. He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with Him, for the King in His beauty transcends all. “I am the rose of Sharon.” This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus is not “the rose” alone, He is “the rose of Sharon,” just as He calls His righteousness “gold,” and then adds, “the gold of Ophir”–the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest. There is variety in His charms. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of His love is sweet. Take the rose of Sharon, and pull it leaf from leaf, and lay by the leaves in the jar of memory, and you shall find each leaf fragrant long afterwards, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the very full. The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with the rose: and when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she shall still be content with Christ, nay, she shall be the better able to appreciate Him. Heaven itself possesses nothing which excels the rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and earth-born things fail to tell of Him. Earth’s choicest charms commingled, feebly picture His abounding preciousness. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever!”

May He ever be a sweet, sweet-smelling Savior to me!