Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘God’s love’

Lord, You Know

Lord, you know …

my fears
my foibles
my frustrations
my failures
my frenzy
my fancies

You see me inside and out—and love me anyway!

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Love Beyond Limit

A few weeks ago I posted a link about the amazing extent of space known already to mankind—14 billion light years!.  As soon as stronger telescopes are made, the “limits” of space expand.  Of course, there’s a limit somewhere—it can’t be infinite.  Here’s where my analogy breaks down:  God’s love is beyond limit.  The more we explore, search, experience—the greater we find it to be.  Infinitely beyond our knowledge and imagination. 

And oh, the beauty!  We see pictures of stunning nebulae and other breathtaking things out in space.  It’s a reminder of God’s love–infinitely varied, splendid, and magnificent!  It will take a lifetime and eternity to begin to plumb its wonders. 

But if we’re content to settle for a tiny taste, that’s all we get.  Will we glance at the little pinpricks, turn away and go back to our trivial pursuits?  Or will we spread out a blanket and settle down for a long session gazing into the heavens?  Will we delve into the depths of divine love that goes on and on forever?  I don’t want to be satisfied with less.

  1. The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    • Refrain:
      Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
      How measureless and strong!
      It shall forevermore endure—
      The saints’ and angels’ song.
  2. When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call,
    God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
  3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

By Frederick M. Lehman, 1917

The Best Invitations

I love to be included.  When I was 3-4 years old, some young mothers and babies were sitting on a blanket on the grass between our house and the neighbors’.  I felt left out and was sort of hanging around hoping for an invitation, when one of the ladies said, “Would you like to join us?”  I wasn’t sure what “join” meant so I ran back into the house to ask my mom!

A few days ago I wrote about Jesus’ invitation to four fishermen to COME with him.  That word is one of the most inviting in the Bible. When Jesus utters this invitation, my heart says, “Yes!  I’m coming!”

“Come follow me”—to a life of companionship & discipleship  (Mt. 4:19)

“Come to me all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Mt. 11:28)

“Come”—to Peter who asked for an invitation to walk on the water (Mt. 14:29)

“Come you have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you!” (Mt. 25:34)

“Come with me privately to a quiet place and rest a little.” (Mk. 6:31)

“Come and see (where I’m staying).”  And they spent the rest of the day      getting acquainted with Jesus Smile.  (Jn. 1:46)

“Come eat breakfast (on the beach).”  (Jn. 21:12)

Can’t you just see Jesus smile, sparkling eyes, and extended hand?  Who could resist an invitation to hang out with the one who loves us more than we could imagine, who made us, watches over us,  gave His life to save ours, knows us inside and out,and keeps on loving us all the more?  Here’s one more:

The spirit and the bride (God’s people) say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) 

This is the invitation for all those who hear God’s call and thirst for the eternal life that He is freely offering.  Why not accept?

The Best Invitations

I love to be included.  When I was 3-4 years old, some young mothers and babies were sitting on a blanket on the grass between our house and the neighbors’.  I felt left out and was sort of hanging around hoping for an invitation, when one of the ladies said, “Would you like to join us?”  I wasn’t sure what “join” meant so I ran back into the house to ask my mom!

A few days ago I wrote about Jesus’ invitation to four fishermen to COME with him.  That word is one of the most inviting in the Bible. When Jesus utters this invitation, my heart says, “Yes!  I’m coming!”

“Come follow me”—to a life of companionship & discipleship  (Mt. 4:19)

“Come to me all you weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Mt. 11:28)

“Come”—to Peter who asked for an invitation to walk on the water (Mt. 14:29)

“Come you have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you!” (Mt. 25:34)

“Come with me privately to a quiet place and rest a little.” (Mk. 6:31)

“Come and see (where I’m staying).”  And they spent the rest of the day      getting acquainted with Jesus Smile.  (Jn. 1:46)

“Come eat breakfast (on the beach).”  (Jn. 21:12)

Can’t you just see Jesus smile, sparkling eyes, and extended hand?  Who could resist an invitation to hang out with the one who loves us more than we could imagine, who made us, watches over us,  gave His life to save ours, knows us inside and out,and keeps on loving us all the more?  Here’s one more:

The spirit and the bride (God’s people) say, “Come!” (Rev. 22:17) 

This is the invitation for all those who hear God’s call and thirst for the eternal life that He is freely offering.  Why not accept?

Worthy of My Worship

Infinitely high and holy, yet not remote. 
Intimate, yet demanding reverence. 
Self-revealing, yet beyond comprehension.

Galaxy & DNA

No matter how much we study and learn about God, it is just the tip of the iceberg.  This is the God whose universe extends way beyond the visible universe 14 billion light years beyond us.  (See the link in my previous post.)  No matter how powerful a telescope or microscope could be made, we could never approach the limit of God’s incredible creation.  Here’s a beautiful description of His greatness:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
   and his paths beyond tracing out!
Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
Who has ever given to God,
   that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
  (Romans 11:33-36)

And yet we see this same God becoming a newborn baby in a feeding trough—and later publicly executed as a criminal—to win our hearts and make a way for us to be with Him forever! 

I am delighted to love and serve a God who is so great I could never wrap my mind around him—but whom I can embrace with my whole being as I feel His arms around me.  What a wonderful mystery!

From Groans to Glory*

Why do we groan?  Often it’s an expression of physical or mental anguish.  Like when hearing a bad pun (wish I’d thought of that myself!), being hit with bad news, or coping with a migraine….

Groaning appears three times within just five verses in Romans 8—groans coming from three different sources.  But these are not all bad news; there is hope in each scenario!

1)  All creation groans (verse 22) as it endures its imperfect state, the ravages of sin which holds it captive.  But the day will come when it will all be restored to the paradise it was meant to be (verse 21).

2)  We who are God’s children through faith in Christ groan (verse 23).  We are also enduring the devastation of sin—pain and problems, illness and death.  But “we eagerly wait with patience” (I’m afraid I’m more eager than patient!) for the time when our bodies will be fully redeemed and we will enjoy the full benefits that belong to us as citizens of heaven.

3)  The Holy Spirit groans as He expresses our cares and needs to the Father (verse 26).  We are not alone as we struggle to pray. And the result of the Spirit’s groaning is that God’s will is done in wonderful ways.  The outcome is glorious—God working out all things according to His purpose and for our good, glorifying Himself and bringing us to glory as well.  This is the triumphant peak of the book of Romans, culminating in a thrilling hymn about God’s powerful, incomparable, enduring love.  (Romans 8:28-39)

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?
If God is for us, who can ever be against us? … 
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?
Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity,
or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? …
No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ,
                   who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.
      Neither death nor life,
          neither angels nor demons,
               neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—
                    not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
                         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.

*Section title of Romans 8:18-30 in HCSB version

Bittersweet Days

I woke up this morning with joy, thanking God for 39 years of marriage to the most wonderful man in the world–my prince, my soul-mate, my best friend and lover and much, much more. 

1974-05-0001-Wedding

Then we got sobering news about our granddaughter who is terminally ill, and the tears came.  The past few days have been rough as the tumor ravages her body.  When we get back there after 2 1/2 weeks away, we’ll really notice the difference.  Yet as our hearts grieve, we also rejoice in the confidence that God is good and loving, He is powerful and in control, He is wise and is working out all things in amazing ways we can only catch a glimpse of presently.  But here’s one of those glimpses, written by her mother:

Last night she was coughing a lot. Firstly, she can’t make her self cough hard so she wasn’t able to clear her airways well, and then I felt like what she did cough up she couldn’t effectively clear from her mouth. So today, I called about getting a suction machine. Tonight she got chills all over, then she started throwing up mouthfuls when she coughed.  It was 8:00 pm when I was thinking of taking her into the ER just to suction her, chest x-ray if needed, etc. when a man showed up at the door with the suction machine. What a relief. I couldn’t believe they got it here so quickly and even after “business hours”. What a gift from God.

And here’s another:
Last night a friend called and said she would like to bring a meal to us tonight. She ended up bringing the very thing Emmeline has asked to have for her birthday next week, tortellini soup and homemade rolls. My friend had no idea. So even though the eating was tough for Emmeline, she was very happy and it was a reminder to me of God’s personalized blessings for each of us.

In these bittersweet days, God’s love, power, and wisdom are our comfort.  He is there for you, too!

 

 

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