I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. (Jeremiah 31:4-5 NIV)
Last week I introduced the eternal love of the Father. Today I want to start looking at what this love can do in our heart.
Firstly, it rebuilds the broken ruins. If that's you, then please take heart. It's not all hopeless. The Father's kindness toward you will draw you to him and he will (not might, or may do - but WILL) rebuild and restore the broken parts of your heart.
However hard or painful it might be, can I encourage you to come to him in your brokenness and let him redeem what you feel has been lost.
Secondly, his love restores. Where there has been sorrow or sadness there will be joy and celebration. His joy coming and filling your heart so that, out of this restoration, there will be fruitfulness.
Often it's not easy to come. As we come to the place of letting go we experience the eternal love of the Father doing a deep work in us.
Why not take a few moments to receive more of this everlasting, eternal love. The substance of love being poured into your heart. (If you have a few moments here is a soaking video which may be of help).
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)
God is love! From all of eternity before Genesis, right through world history and on into all of eternity beyond Revelation - God is LOVE.
It is the fullness of that eternal love which is constantly being poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit. It is not a small segment of love, representing the minute segment of time for which we are alive. It is the completeness of eternal love, which is the Father, who makes his home in our heart.
It is his unfailing kindness (an attribute of love) that draws us toward him. It's not the product of our behaviour, our actions or anything we feel we do for him; it's his kindness towards us, expressed in Jesus. Our reconciliation to him is initiated by him, from his heart of love and his desire for relationship with us.
May I encourage you to take a few moments to receive more of this everlasting, eternal love. The substance of love being poured into your heart. (If you have a few moments here is a soaking video which may be of help).
Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you the most excellent way. (1 Cor 12:31 NIV)
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13 NIV)
There are many gifts which have been given to the church. All of them are necessary and, I believe, vital for us to receive and continue to desire. In fact, we desperately need them in a greater measure.
As good as they are, Paul is keen, even insistent, that we pursue a greater gift. The gift of love. The most excellent way. The best choice we can make.
As he writes about the gifts, Paul pauses to stress the importance of love. It is upon love that everything else is built. Without the foundation of love, all the gifts in the world will come across as a clanging cymbal - an unholy noise!
The gifts, though important and necessary, are only temporary. One day we won't need them, we will be complete. Not only complete but fully known, in love. As encouraged by Paul, let us make love our greatest aim. Let's pursue the greatest gift of being loved by our Heavenly Father and then letting that love change this world.
"The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty." (Psalm 37:18-19 NIV)
Last week my encouragement to you was that our Heavenly Father 'knows'. He knows what we are going through, he cares and that gives us hope.
Psalm 37 is one I read often as it is a reminder to us of our Father's provision and protection. When evil seems to prosper we have the eternal assurance that he is our helper and deliverer. We have a secure future as we rest in him and trust him. Such is our hope that we can have the confidence to be a giver rather than a borrower. We can be generous to others rather than living in fear. Fear will always cripple us, trusting our Father sets us free from that fear and leads us into life.
Why do we have this hope? Because we are under the Lord's care. For us, that is a place of abundant security and safety, it is the source of our provision, we are held close to him as a shepherd carries a lamb. It means we have found home.
As I read these two verses, I feel the peace that is conveyed from that sense of belonging. The security of knowing our Father is in control, that he cares for us, he provides for us and that, as we rest in him, he will be our salvation. What a good Father!
A Father to YOU is a signpost to the heart of the Perfect Father. When we became Christians we were given the right to become children of God (John 1:12). Sadly, many of us fail to take up that right and instead continue to live as slaves or orphans. But our true destiny is being sons and daughters who have a permanent place in the Father's family. This blog is an encouragement to help you know who God really is and who you really are.