MY HEART’S TREASURE

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12).

 

Jesus Is My Heart’s Treasure

A love that I can’t begin to measure

He has been there all along–

A hidden love that has grown so strong.

I praise you my Lord for a gift so true–

This unconditional love I found in you.

Mere words could never describe

The total fulfillment you’ve made in my life.

Before the true revelation of your love for me

I was walking along in life so aimlessly;

Now it is plain for me to see

That walking with you is full of blessings.

I give you my life to do as you may–

Forever in your guidance I will stay;

Continue to mold me in your image I pray;

Fill me with your love and mercy each day.

Glory be to the holy one,

Praises I give to the Father and Son;

Holy Spirit I have invited thee

To dwell forever inside of me. –Linda Begley

It is amazing that we are precious in His sight, and He loves us! (Isaiah 43:4).  How great is His love He has lavished on us, “that we should be called His children; and such we are” (1 John 3:1).

While saying her evening prayers a little girl paused momentarily, then continued, “God, it must be hard for You to love everybody.  We have only four in my family, and it’s hard for me to love all of them.”

How very blessed we are!  Loved beyond measure. He has promised to be with us, never forsaking us; to walk with us each step of the way (Hebrews 13:5).  There is no going back in our walk with God – it is no longer who we are.  Gone are the ways we used to live and the things we used to do.

We need to know God through His Word!  It is His personal love letter to us, and He wants nothing but the very best for His children.  No one can ever drive a wedge between us and His love for us—there is no way! (Romans 8:35-39).  We all have fallen short; we have failed Him so terribly.  Yet nothing we have done has changed God’s mind about us, and nothing ever will.  His love remains constant and unconditional; “His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:1).

We bring tremendous joy to God as we give ourselves in complete surrender to Him.  This is the essence of worship.  Why not worship Him now as you read aloud the above poem and treasure Him more than your necessary food?

SACRIFICIAL LOVE

 

“Greater love has no one than this that He lay down His life for his friends” (John 15:13).

A little girl in the hospital had been critically injured and lost a lot of blood. She urgently needed a transfusion, but the doctors could not find anyone with her rare blood type–except her 7-year-old brother.

Her doctor took the young boy aside and gently explained the situation, “Your sister is very sick. Unless we can help her, she’s going to leave us and go to heaven.”  Then he asked, “Would you be willing to give your blood to your little sister so she can live?”

The young boy hesitated a moment, his eyes filled with fear.  Then he took a deep breath and whispered, “Yes, I’ll do it so she can live.”

He could see the transfusion progress as he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled.  But as he watched the blood from his body flow through the tube to his sister, his face grew pale and his smile faded.  Looking up at the doctor, he asked with a trembling voice, “Will I die soon?”   This brave young boy had misunderstood and thought he was giving all his blood so his little sister could live!    

Jesus Christ fully understood and willingly gave His blood to save us from our sins so that we may live with Him forever.  We have become so accustomed to hearing the story of His death on the cross that we lose sight of what His sacrifice really accomplished for us.

Jesus knew love would be extremely costly for Him.  Those He came to save would despise and reject Him.   There would be illegal trials, mockery, torture and excruciating pain.  One of His disciples would betray Him.  Worst of all, because He would be steeped in our sin, He knew His Father would forsake Him.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who  . . . endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2).

He made forgiveness of sin and eternal life available to us when He shed His precious blood on the cross.  There is “no other name” by which we can be saved and escape eternal judgment by Almighty God.  “Salvation is found in no one else” (Acts 4:12).   Christ’s death and resurrection are the greatest news we can ever receive!  

Love sent my Savior to die in my stead,

Why should He love me so?

Meekly to Calvary’s cross He was led,

Why should He love me so?—Harkness

HIS FAITHFUL LOVE

My faithful love will be with him . . .” (Psalm 89:24).

Nancy Stafford, in her book, The Wonder of His Love, tells about a compromising situation at the age of twelve she found herself in:

Suddenly all my adolescent protests of “You’re not being fair!  I am grown up!  You’ll never understand!” came crashing down.  Now, after all my yearning and clamoring to be treated like a grown-up, all I wanted to do was scramble into the safety of my parents’ Oldsmobile, get a Dilly Bar from the Dairy Queen, gather my dog, Daffodil, onto my lap and sit with my mom and dad on the sofa watching TV.

 I wanted to stay a little girl . . . I walked quickly from the street, slipped quietly into the house and called my parents to come and get me.  Without a word, without a question, without a moment’s hesitation, they were there.

Sometimes we do not want to go through the growing pains of becoming the Christ-like person He desires and is committed to changing.  Even though we may try to wiggle out of our difficult and painful moments, His love won’t let us—because He is our faithful Father.  He is there without hesitation, with gentleness and compassion, and is always faithful.

He wants us to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13), so that “we will in all things grow up into Him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (v. 15). 

God’s love comes from within Him, not from anything He finds in us. He loves us because of His goodness, His kindness. The apostle John says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us” (1 John 4:10).  His love is spontaneous and complete.

Doesn’t this bring comfort to your heart? God’s love is not dependent on ours.  In the same way that our “abundant” love does not increase His love for us, our lack of love does not diminish His love.

We can let our hearts rejoice because we know He will never turn away from us.  He is incapable of doing so.  He cannot let us go!

Today and throughout eternity we will continue to experience more and more of His faithful love because it is limitless, unconditional, unchanging, and unending.

He who gave Himself to save me,

Now will keep me to the end;

In His care securely resting

On His promise I depend. –Bosch

HIS UNFAILING LOVE

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed

(Isaiah 54:10).

In Our Daily Bread, 7-30-09, David McCasland wrote:

At a wedding I attended, the bride’s grandfather quoted from memory a moving selection of Scripture about the relationship of husband and wife. Then a friend of the couple read “Sonnet 116” by William Shakespeare. The minister conducting the ceremony used a phrase from that sonnet to illustrate the kind of love that should characterize a Christian marriage: “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”  The poet is saying that true love does not change with circumstances.

The minister noted the many changes this couple would experience during their life together, including health and the inevitable effects of age. Then he challenged them to cultivate the true biblical love that neither falters nor fails in spite of the alterations that would surely come their way.

God never changes nor does His love for us change.  This means His love cannot fail. It is constant, steadfast.   We can know that when all else fails, God’s love will endure forever.   He has loved us “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3); therefore, we can accept His unfailing love, let it shape our lives, and extend it to others.

It is true whether or not we believe it.  It originates in the heart and character of God.  Our faith does not create it nor can our doubts destroy God’s love.  It flows to us through our union with Jesus Christ, His beloved Son.

Doubts about His love for us, however, can deprive us of comfort and joy that His love is intended to bring.  We must take Him at His Word and believe the truths revealed in Scripture.

“[T]he LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him” (Psalm 32:10).

Because of His unfailing love, He allows only the heartaches and pain into our lives that are for our ultimate good.  The fires of affliction are always tempered by His compassion: “Though he brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love” (Lamentations 3:32).

David spoke of God’s goodness, which is stored up for those who fear Him, who take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19).  There will always be an abundance of His love and goodness for our times of adversity.  Paul received His all-sufficient grace when he needed it (2 Corinthians 12:9). We receive it when we need it—not before—and we never receive it too late.

He cannot fail, your faithful God;

He’ll guard you with His power;

Then fear no ill though troubles rise,

His help is sure from hour to hour.—Bosch

SAFELY SECURE IN GOD’S LOVE

I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand

 (John 10:28).

David Jeremiah says:

Our God is full of surprises. He tailor-makes every miracle; He individually designs every life.  Every day is different, and His every deliverance is unique. Yet He is never capricious, changeable, erratic, or unstable. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Amid the complexity of His manifold ways, there is the solid foundation of His love.

We see God’s unchanging love in the book of Hosea when He declares that He still loves His people “though they turn to other gods” (Hosea 3:1).  Even when they spurn Him and persist in their rebellion against Him, His love remains constant.

When we let anyone be more important to us than God, He still loves us.  He cannot let us go.  He will discipline us when necessary, but no farther than He has to for our good.  His heart would never let Him  cut us off; He will never withdraw His love from us.

David said to God in Psalm 102:27, “You remain the same, and Your years will never end.”

 No matter how disconcerting our circumstances—evaporating finances, disintegrating relationships, personal failure, heartaches, disillusionment, despair—we are secure in His love.

He will continue His tender care for us even when He puts us through refining fires.  During difficult times, He wants us to be more aware of Him and His love than of any visible things in our lives.   Because His love never falters, never fluctuates, never fails, it gives us real stability.

Paul says “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, not any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). 

Our security is the certainty of His presence and our position in Christ, regardless of our circumstances.  Just as God’s love for His Son cannot change, so His love for us is unchangeable—because we are united with the One He loves (John 17:23).

No matter how doubtful and unstable you may feel your life is at the moment, focus on His predictable, steadfast, unchanging love instead.   We can rest comfortably, secure, and free in His arms knowing our position in Christ is unshakable!

More secure is no one ever

Than the loved ones of the Savior

Not yon star on high abiding

Nor the bird in home-nest hiding. –Berg

THE CROSS: TWO INTERSECTING LINES . . .

Ephesians 3:16-19

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:17-18).

The magnitude of God’s love is . . .  well, immeasurable.  It is beyond measure.

In her book, The Wonder of His Love, Nancy Stafford gives insight into the concept of “two intersecting lines on a page” to depict the Cross as a picture of God’s boundless love for us:

 God went to all lengths to redeem us.  He stretched through time and space to reach out to us and sent His own Son to free us . . . On the Cross, He spread His arms wide to embrace us, accept us.   God’s love spans the width of the universe and the length of eternity; it reaches from the heights of heaven to the depths of hell.

The ten Boom family hid Jews in their home to protect them from the Nazis during World War II.  When discovered, they also were taken to the concentration camp.  Corrie ten Boom said to her sister, Betsy, “This place is the pit of hell!”  Betsy replied, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper.”

David asked, “Where can I go from Your Spirit?  Where can I flee from Your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there” (Psalm 139:7-8).

No matter where we go, there is nothing we can ever do that will separate us from Him and His marvelous love.  May we fully experience the length, depth, width, and breadth of His immeasurable love for us!

Now, in time and space, we can only grasp what’s on the page.  But the lines do not end at the margins of the page; they continue to infinity.  Paul’s prayer for us will perhaps only be fully realized in eternity.  Meanwhile, with wide-eyed wonder, we gaze at God’s mathematical code: two intersecting lines of a cross—the irrefutable, eternal, and exact truth of His immeasurable love.

He loves us when we’re mired deep in sin—when we are destitute and can give Him nothing.  He also loves us when we turn our backs on Him and walk away, when we run in the opposite direction as Jonah did.  He loves us when we mess up, when we stumble and fall again and again. He loves us when we deny Him and defy Him, when we destroy our lives—and the lives of others.

When we are tempted to believe that God has forgotten or abandoned us, when we are fearful that our failures will drive Him away, let us ask Him to remind us of those intersecting lines on the page.  Why not thank Him now for His immeasurable love, for sending His Son to die for you on the cross? 

 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. –Frederick M. Lehman

IMMEASURABLE LOVE

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

David Jeremiah wrote in his devotional (10-2-12):

A famous consumer company’s advertising campaign, beginning in 1975, used the tagline, “Don’t Leave Home Without Them” for 25 years — referring to the company’s travelers checks. When the credit card replaced travelers checks, the phrase was changed slightly to say, “Don’t Leave Home Without It” — referring to the plastic credit card that replaced checks for travelers.

You might leave home today without a credit card in your pocket, but there is one thing you can never leave home without: the presence of God. The psalmist David wrote an entire psalm (Psalm 139) about the fact that God was always with him. And the prophet Jonah discovered he couldn’t escape God even when he tried. If you can’t escape God’s presence that means you can’t escape God’s love either — because God is love (1 John 4:8, 16). Some people think their sins or failings have put them far away from the reach of God and His love, but that is never true. God and His love are always with you.

 No matter who you are, where you are, or what happens to you, no one can ever be lost to His love, even though the full measure of God’s love is beyond our understanding.   No matter how great our suffering, our trials—no calamity can take us beyond the reach of God’s shoreless ocean of love for us.

He created us and He loves us unconditionally.  Everyone matters to God—even the unlovely and those who may feel unlovable.   Our “self-worth,” our value, comes from the fact that we are important to Him.  Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8) and, if He loves us that much, who cares what others think?

 The words of the hymn “The Love of God” attempts to capture the breathtaking magnitude of God’s love:

Could we with ink the ocean fill

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill

And ev’ry man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry,

Nor could the scroll contain the whole

Tho stretched from sky to sky. –Frederick M. Lehman

 Even if the ocean were filled with ink, as this verse says, using it to describe the love of God would drain it dry.

EXTRAVAGANT LOVE

Matthew 26:6-13

She has done a beautiful thing to Me” (Matthew 26:10).

Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper.  A woman brought “an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume” and poured it on His head.  Seeing this, the disciples became indignant, asking, “Why this waste?“ They thought the perfume could have been sold “at a high price” and the money given to the poor.

Reflecting on what God has done for us and saved us from is intended to make us extravagant in our love and service—and our giving.   As we attempt to comprehend the depths of His infinite love for us, we will feel truly loved and let that love flow back to Him and overflow to others.

 Love extravagantly.  “Love one another deeply from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22).

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  His love for us is so great, so intense, so deep that He submitted His Son Jesus Christ to unimaginable, unprecedented agony for us.

Be assured of His extravagant love.   Rest in it.  This is your good news—the good news of the Gospel.

I Love You Today

 I love you today, where you are and as you are. You do

not have to be anything but what you are for Me to love

you.

I love you now; not sometime when you are worthy, but

today when you may need love most. I will not withhold

My love, or withdraw it.

There are no strings on My love, no price. I will not force

it upon you when you are not ready. It is just there,

freely offered, with both hands.

Take what you want today. The more you take, the more

there is. It is good if you can return love; but if you

cannot today, that is all right too. Love is its own joy.

Bless Me by letting Me love you today.

–Unknown

By God’s grace, having trusted Christ as our Savior, we have been brought into the forever family of God.   He has covenanted with us to be our God and we are His people (Hebrews 8:10).  He loves to love us!  We are His “chosen people, holy and dearly loved” (Colossians 3:12).  Incredibly, because He is love and we are His very own, He takes great delight in loving us and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

LIMITLESS LOVE

Where could I go to escape from You? Where could I get away from Your presence? If I went up to heaven, You would be there; if I lay down in the world of the dead, You would be there. If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, You would be there to lead me, You would be there to help me. I could ask the darkness to hide me or the light around me to turn into night, but even darkness is not dark for You, and the night is as bright as the day”

 (Psalm 139:7-12 TEV).

Although our minds cannot fully comprehend how extensive His love is, we can somehow experience it in our hearts to one degree or another.  One poet expressed it well:

How Thou couldst love me as I am

And be the God Thou art,

Is darkness to my intellect

But sunshine in my heart.—Anonymous

A.W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God, “How completely and satisfying to turn from our limitations to a God who has none.”

In reality, we lose our loved ones through divorce, desertion, death—in marriage, one spouse usually dies first, leaving the other all alone.  The best remedy for loneliness is this: You will never be separated from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).  As Christians, we do not have to be lonely because we can wrap ourselves in God’s love, which lasts forever and is always available.   He will never run out of love for us.  Never.

We see many divorces in our day.  Some people are not divorced, but they don’t love each other anymore. There’s a limit to human love; sometimes it just dries up, but God’s love never wears out.  It is good to know that He never gives up on us—no matter who we are, what we’ve done, or how we’ve been abused or mistreated.  His love for us is limitless.

Beyond words, God’s love is incalculably great.  It has no boundaries, no limits in duration and extent. We’ll never be able to get out of it, around it, away from it, or beyond it (Psalm 139:1-12).  We may ignore Him, but we cannot escape the presence of God.

We can receive as much as we can of God’s love today, and there will still be more for us tomorrow—and forever.   Jeremiah reminds us (Lamentations 3: 22-23) that this steadfast love of God never ceases; we have an endless supply of fresh compassion available each morning.

You will never mess up so bad that His love will abandon you; so you can replace any fear or doubt with faith.   God’s faithfulness and love give us encouragement and hope that will never fail because they are by grace, not based on our deserving. 

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,

His power has no boundary known unto men;

For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,

He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again. –Annie Johnson Flint

Love

1 John 3:16-19 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers”(NIV)

We know God loves us because the Bible tells us, “He first loved us and sent His son to atone for our sins. We have confidence before God and will receive from Him anything we ask according to His will because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.” When we are full of the love of Jesus in our hearts, our desire is to please Him and we no longer want to sin. For all the blessings and love we receive from Him, we don’t want to let Him down. We want to do what He wants us to do. We want to serve Him. “Let us love not just in words but with actions.

When we love someone, we show them by spending time with them, by doing things for them, we talk to them, we give them gifts and we show our love by actions. So should we with God. We need to spend time in prayer, to study His Word, listen to what He wants us to do, and try to be an example to others in Christian living.

God’s love for us is unconditional…we don’t have to earn it. He gives His love to us freely. Deuteronomy 10: 12-13 (NIV) summarizes what God expects from us: to love your God, to walk in His ways, to serve your God with all your hearts and soul and to obey Him.

When we accept Jesus as our Savior, repent of our sins, love and obey Him we become the children of God. We don’t have to earn His love, He meets and accepts us where we are and through His grace you will be a member of God’s family. You will be loved, protected and blessed.