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God wants to marry you!

September 13, 2013 1 comment

God wants to marry you!
 
Only joking! Just using some picture language we often find in the bible (particularly Song of Solomon/Songs). And actually I just remembered that Catholic nuns wear a ring . . their sense of love being so great, I guess, they want to demonstrate their devotion by being, ‘married’ to Jesus. So, if romantic love is a good strong picture language/poetry we can use, what can we sense about His love for us? That is, how does God feel toward us in all this? What can we discover?
 
Some verses to help us discover::
 
“ . . You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight)” from Isaiah 62:4 MSG
 
“ . . And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
so your God is happy with you.” Isaiah 62:5 MSG
 
Read Isaiah 62 here – when you realize it can be about you personally as well as about a heavenly kingdom coming now – it’s amazing!
 
“ . . He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs” From Zephaniah 3:17
I always pictured myself as a baby in his arms as he sang over me when reading this . . which is a good picture for us . . however, a lover can also sing to or over the object of his love (eg Romeo and Juliet). Isn’t that wonderful, the thought that God is always singing over you with His great love for you?
 
Heaven is not some meritorious place only in the future . . it starts here . . it belongs to you because of what Jesus did as a once and for all act, stretching forward and backward through time, freedom and forgiveness, available freely the moment you think of turning or repenting and in that moment the possibility of feeling the intimacy and great love He has for you – so just like marriage (at it’s best), you know your spouse will forgive straight away, asking no payment, no penance, no good work, she/he will give it freely . . God gives it all freely to you! Take it from His hands today! Go on! You know you don’t deserve it, yet He holds it all out to you in his open hands, waiting, with a face full of love for you to reach out . .
 
Let’s pray today ‘O Lord I take all the love you have for me’, remember as you go about your business, ‘Lord, I take all the love you have for me’
 
Hope that blesses us today
 
Andy

ps if anyone knows the Lamentations verse that implies that God leaps up into the air, twirling around for joy when He thinks of us, can you email it to me? Heard a speaker refer to it and just cannot find it!

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Plan A

November 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Click the picture above to listen to ‘I love Your Presence‘ from Bethel Live Album, ‘Here is Love’, buy here

‘God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.’ (Ephesians 3:10-12 NLT) It’s worth reading all of Ephesians 3, it’s a wonderful passage!

I got a great iPhone app called ‘Accordance’ which comes free with the ESV version of the bible and when you touch and hold a word it gives the Greek (or Hebrew). When I did this for the word ‘purpose’ in the verses above I got the below . .

purpose:
4286. πρόθεσις prothesis; from 4388; a setting forth, i.e. (figuratively) proposal (intention); specially, the show-bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God: — purpose, shew(-bread).

This led me to do some research on the show bread:

The 12 loaves of baked bread symbolized the 12 tribes of Israel as they stand in the presence of God. In Exodus 25:30, they are called “the bread of the Presence.” From http://leviticus-the-law.blogspot.co.uk/ This bread was always fresh ie it was swapped regularly and the word perpetual also features in the Hebrew from Exodus 25:30

I got from this that the fresh, perpetual, presence of God in our lives, through the work of Jesus Christ and the continual working of the Holy Spirit, was always God’s plan for our lives! It was His ‘Plan A’ and there is no ‘Plan B’ !

Why ‘display his wisdom’ v10 ? I took this to mean to show the way things are going to be. The evil one’s intention is deceive people and show them things are different to that, ie they don’t deserve God’s presence or they wouldn’t want it because God is cruel or indifferent or uncaring. So for us as believers and for those who do not believe yet, this battle goes on . . As believers we need to be aware that our enjoying the presence of God is not just some self satisfying endeavor or selfish indulgence, it is core to God’s purposes for the world. In other words our enjoying being in God’s presence is the plan. It’s a wonderful freedom once we get hold of this! It’s ok to chase hard after God and want the joy and peace that comes from being ever more intimate with a Father whose whole plan was precisely this! Everything else flows out from our being in his presence . . or as someone has said all our doing must come from being . . and because it says ‘through the church’, then we can know we are supposed to be doing this!

We can also know that this does not just refer to our final state in heaven . . because later in Ephesians 3 we see Paul’s prayer that we would have the power to know God’s love in all its width, depth, height, etc. Why would Paul be praying this if it wasn’t for now? After all we know that is definitely going to happen when we get to heaven. No, Paul is praying they know it now. And to further point out just what this means Paul says, ‘to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God’, Ephesians 3:19 NKJV So knowing the love of Christ means we can be filled with all the fullness of God. Who is the other person we know of in the bible who was filled with the fullness of God? Jesus! And Jesus himself said we could do all the things he did and greater . . so the more we are in the presence of our Father, the more we are filled with His presence, the more we are ‘knowing’ the love of Christ in our lives, the more we become like Jesus . . who we are called to follow and ‘be like’ ie His disciples

So I pray we can really get hold of this and ‘spiritually learn’ to experience more and more of His presence where ever we are, at any time

Thanks for reading
Andy