O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

Days of PraiseThe Institute for Creation Research puts out a wonderful little devotional book called Days of Praise,  which often contains a hymn series.  If you or your church have not discovered them as yet, I hope you’ll visit their website, where you’ll find loads of wonderful material and a wealth of Biblically accurate information. The following is an example of one of their hymn series:

O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

The Christian church has a rich heritage in its hymn.  Over the years, dear saints of God have framed great Christian doctrines in music, easy to remember and a joy to sing.  The unfathomable love of Christ for us is laid out clearly in the first verse of one such hymn, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.”

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above!

Our text reminds us that the love of Christ is a different kind of love than that which we can express or even comprehend.  We can only ask, “What manner of love is this?”  We know it as grace, unmerited favor, a sweet blessing given to us that we do not deserve.

This love surrounds us, buoying us up and sweeping us along in its current.  We have the privilege of returning that love: “We love, him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Such love led Him to Calvary and us to eternal life.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever belie eth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)

This love will lead us on to glory, where we will spend eternity with the Author of love.  Here He continues forever extending His love gifts to us.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).  His love for us is so deep. JDM

Recently, I was praying with a woman and her prayer stopped me short.  As she prayed for an unsaved man, she prayed that he would know the unfathomable love that God had for him!  Sadly, I must admit that I often prayed that God would give him a glimpse of hell.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?  Romans 2:4

Yes, the awful truth about hell often awakens the soul to a consciousness about sin and its consequences, but as this verse says, it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance; and oh, how good our God is!  How rich is his goodness, how long is His forbearance, and how immeasurable is His longsuffering towards His children who should know better in the first place!

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Can You Shine in Spite of Heartache?

Is it possible to quantify what causes the greatest heartache?  Probably the first thing that comes to mind is the loss of a loved one in death.  They’re gone from us; and though we have the promise of seeing them again if they were truly blood-washed saints, it hurts not to be able to see them now and hear their voice.

Perhaps a close second is the heartache of rejection.  Whenever we give of ourselves, it is a dangerous occupation!  We serve, we love, we share a piece of our heart, and often the love that we give is returned to us.  Other times, it is not, or it is for a time, but then something happens – a disagreement, or a seed of discord is sown and then it’s gone. We spend countless hours giving of our selves only to be rejected.  It shouldn’t surprise us – isn’t that what our Master did for us?  But it still aches – to be rejected is one of the most difficult things of the ministry; and if you are not careful, your heart will harden and little by little, you will pull away – stop serving, and loving, and sharing.  How sad that is, because some innocent person misses out because of someone else’s selfishness.

And the greatest loss is the closeness that you feel when serving “in Jesus’ name.”  He knows, and that’s all that matters.  Just writing this has been such a help.  We can choose to dwell on the pain others have caused, knowingly or unknowingly, or we can focus on the incredible love of God!  He STILL deserves my best no matter the outcome!

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

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of 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.

Refrain

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.

There is a battle.  Just the other day I listened to a news clip on FOX news about Christianity dying influence in America.  The young pastor made several excellent points; but the one that really spoke to my heart was that as Christians, we are to be involved in other people’s lives.  It’s great to blog and interact socially on the internet, but there is nothing more effective than touching another life one on one.  A. W. Tozer made the same point in a message that I recently listened to on sermonaudio.com. Jesus was WITH people ALL the time!

And there’s the battle!  Do we need to be with people blinding them with the Gospel light?  No, this LITTLE light of mine – I’m gonna let it shine.  It’s a word in season: weaving our conversations with the Word.

Acts 4:20 “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” – This literally means they were “bubbling over” – like a boiling pot!  Oh to have that kind of walk with our Lord, that we couldn’t HELP but speak of Him and His mighty acts!  THAT would make a difference in America!