Tuesday, January 9, 2018

“The Friend of Our Hearts"

"The Friend of Our Hearts"

    What human beings call "love" does not meet the test of God's definition, and more importantly, of His nature, disposition, and practice.

    "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).

     The Lord Jesus Christ stated it plainly: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends" (John 15:13).  Human beings, in and of themselves, may go so far as to sacrifice life and limb for those agreeable to them.  The love of God, conversely, dies for its foes.  "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life" (Romans 5:10).  Such truth presents to us wonder without measure.  The God whom believers trust loves those who do not love Him, to the degree of sacrificing His own eternally beloved Son for them.  This includes ourselves, who have received the grace of such an inscrutable and winsome Being to the degree that "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  The Great Friend of our hearts died for us when we were enemies, making possible our redemption unto being temples of His wondrous character, nature, and way.  "Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2).

    We do well to frequently ponder the wonder.  Indeed, Someone exists whose nature is so others-devoted that He exchanged the crown for a cross in order to save those who had no interest in Him whatsoever.  "All we like sheep have gone astray.  We have every one turned to His own way" (Isaiah 53:6).  When we do come forth from our hiding in the trees, we come with thorns, nails, and a spear to pierce and murder Him.  This is all of us.  Again, left to ourselves, we are all complicit in the execution of the Lord Jesus.  "He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:2).  This presents another truth to frequently ponder in the most personal terms, namely, that "If I alone had existed, God would have sent His Son to rescue me.  And I would have received the Friend of my heart as a dread enemy.  I would have killed Him."  Only the influence of the Holy Spirit before our salvation, and His transformative presence after we believe, keeps us from acting in despite toward the glorious One so consecrated to others that "when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son."

    A long eternity will not suffice in the discovery of the beautiful heart of God.  Doubtless, we will be forever dazzled by the majesty, power, and fearful glory of so great a Being.  However, like the Apostle John, when we gaze upon "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," a scene of altruistic glory will also shine forth from the Master who bears within His holy heart the disposition of a Servant…

    "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.  And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain" (Revelation 5:5-6).

    Power, greatness, and majesty will drive us to our knees and faces.  Love, the love of God, will drive us even lower.  The Friend of our hearts, once perceived and received as an enemy, will elicit such response then, and certainly now.

"God is love… Charity (love) seeketh not her own."
(I John 4:8; I Corinthians 13:5)

Weekly Memory Verse
   "One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple" (Psalm 27:4).

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