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Sunday, June 23, 2013

A True Love Story: God Longs to Embrace You (Part 1)

There’s a quest in everyone’s heart. A quest to be loved without conditions or limitations. A quest to be loved always and forever. A quest to be loved with honor and dignity.

When we seek this perfect love outside of God, we never find it. Because humans love only when there’s something lovely to be loved.

God’s unconditional love excels. God launched agape love when He sacrificed His son. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The Greek language coined the unique word, agape, to express God’s unfathomable love for sinners.  

Agape love specifically seeks the highest good for the other person…always…no matter what. Agape is a self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return. It does not consider the worth of its object but is a love by choice. God chose to love us in spite of our miserable condition. “…while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

God paid a high price to initiate this mysterious love story that never ends. God, the perfect Lover gently calls out to us, day after day, “l love you. Will you receive my agape love?”

             Are we listening? It’s the one voice above all others that fulfills our quest for perfect love!

Perfect Love speaks through Scripture. When I prayed, “Heavenly Father, teach me how much you love me,” He taught me the significance of forgiving which creates space in my heart for His love. He also led me to Psalm 139, again and again. It explodes with revelations of agape love.

             Verse 1 “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.”

             “Know” is translated yada in Hebrew. It’s reserved to express intimacy, such as when Adam knew Eve and they conceived a son. This word reflects significant oneness, closeness and being joined together.

The Psalmist expounds on how the Lord of the heavens and the earth “yadas” you and me.

Verses 2-4 “You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.”

The Lord uses my children and grandchildren to help me understand His tender, personal love.  When my 7-year-old granddaughter plays basketball, I sit on the edge of my chair, scrutinizing Ariel’s every move… running, skipping, walking up and down the court, standing still, dribbling the ball, or sitting on the bench. My eyes stay glued on sweet Ariel…I adore her.

What is she thinking? I study her facial expressions. “I’m tired. I hope I make this basket. This is tricky!”

  The Lord carefully studies us, too! Like a mother smitten with love for her newborn; her eyes fixed, not missing a blink; her ear tuned to soft breathes.

Zephaniah 3:16 puts it this way, “He [God] becomes quiet as He reflects on His deep affection for you.”

 “It’s as if God says, ‘I love you so much that I can’t find words to express it. You so perfectly satisfy My every desire and fulfill My every wish that I simply long to embrace you in My arms and quietly enjoy your presence.” Sam Storms in The Singing God

Deep down we all want to be found in the arms of God, to be the special object of agape love.   But only those who trust in Jesus Christ can experience this passionate, intimate love.

Listen to the Scriptures. Hear their chords of tender love and amazing grace. Accept the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. He is God’s gift of salvation so you may enter into His agape love. It’s a true love story!

 (Next week, “A True Love Story” [Part 2], Psalm 139:5-18!)

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