Introduction A Story of Love
John 17:24 NIV
Ephesians 1:4 NLT
Proverbs 3:3-4 ESV
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV
Song of Songs 8:6 ESV
Matthew 5:14-16, The Message
Psalm 143:8 NLT
Story of Love Series
It all began with love and so we begin with love.
That’s because before WE began, there was love.
Even before creation, there was love.
In John 17:24 we read, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Before the world began God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit were. They didn’t become because they have always been.
For us, eternity is sometimes difficult to understand because we have a beginning. Humans have a moment of creation. We were formed in a womb. At an appointed time we were born and by God’s grace we took our first breath.
We exist because God created us.
We are mortal.
We had a beginning.
God had a plan for us even before He created the world.
Ephesians 1:4 says, “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”
It’s mind boggling that each and every one of us was individually chosen and created out of God’s love. God planned you. God chose you.
No one who was created was not chosen. But God did not chose us to be puppets, so God gave us the right to choose who we will BE.
It IS God’s desire that we choose to love Him. In Proverbs 3:3-4 wise King Solomon wrote, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.”
Wise Solomon knew that we have a choice to forsake God’s love and faithfulness. He advised his fellow Israelites, the chosen people who were given the task of proclaiming His love to the world to bind the truth of God’s love around their neck. He told them to write God’s love on their hearts so they would take it with them everywhere. He knew when the chosen carried the truth of God’s love to the nations, they would find favor and success with God and man.
Moses wrote a commandment to the children of Israel about binding and carrying God’s truth and love in your heart in Deuteronomy 6:4-9. He said, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Moses commanded the children of Israel to bind God’s Law on their hands, and their eyes and to teach them to their children as they enter Canaan. The children of Israel still hold fast to The Shema today. As children of God in Jesus (born from the tribe of Judah in Israel), God’s word of love is also written in our hearts and on our door posts.
In Song of Songs (also called the Song of Solomon) 8:6 we read, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord.” Those words either written by Solomon or for Solomon also ascribe to setting the seal of God’s love IN us to carry with us and wear it for others to see.
I am reminded of the children’s song that tells us we are not to hide it…we need to let His light shine. That’s exactly what It says we are to do in Matthew 5:14-16, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
God’s light in your world can take on many forms. Some will love anonymously and do random acts of kindness. Others will proclaim God’s love so others may hear. Love comes in many shapes and sizes and there are a multitude of ways we let our light shine. However God leads you, let it shine.
David wrote in Psalm 143:8, “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.”
As you walk in God’s love, listen for His unfailing love each morning. Trust God to show you where to walk. Give yourself to God and receive His great love today, tomorrow, and always.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: God’s Love
Contemplate what God’s love means to you.
In God, Deborah