Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Testament References to Love

We are no where near done looking at all the places in the Old Testament that speak of God's love. But I thought we'd look at a few places in the New Testament before we move onto something else.

Ephesians 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

Vs 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

Vs 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ,

Vs 7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

I Corinthians 2:9 But just as it is written, Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. (Isaiah 64:4 & 65:17)

This theme of love, referred to in the Old Testament, is carried over into the New Testament. Above are a few good ones. And I haven't even brought up the words of Jesus or the words of John in his letters.

(I post dated this so it would end up in Feb even though I didn't post it until March 1. I'm just too busy.)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lovingkindness and Tender Mercies

All of these verses on lovingkindness in the six previous posts and I haven't even covered the ones the have both lovingkindness and tender mercies (compassions). Here they are, one right after the other in rainbow colors for your personal mediatiaon.

Psalm 25:5 Remember, O Lord, Thy compassions (tender mercies) and They lovingkindness, For they have been from of old.

Psalm 40:11 Thou, O LORD, wilt nto withhold Thy compassions (tender mercies) from me; Thy lovingkindness and Thy truth will continually preserve me.

Psalm 51:1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Thy compassion (tender mercies) blot out transgression.

Psalm 69:16 Answer me, O LORD, for Thy lovingkindness is good. According to the greatness of Thy compassion (tender mercies), turn to me.

Psalm 103:4 Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion (tender mercies).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lovingkindness, 6

Psalm 107:8 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Vs 9 For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.
Vs 15Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness, And for His wonderful acts to the children of men!
Vs 16 For He has shattered the gates of bronze, And cut bars of iron asunder.

Here in Psalm 107 the psalmist is calling on the people, including himself, to give thank to God for His lovingkindness and His miracles that He has lavished on His people.

The Psalmist also draws attention that God satisfies the hungry and the thirsty with good in verse 9.

In verse 16 the psalmist points out the overwhelming, delivering power that God has that he gives freely because of His lovingkindness.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lovingkindness, 5

Psalm 100:5 For the Lord is good, His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 143:8 Let me hear Thy lovingkindness in the morning: For I trust in Thee; Teach me the way in which to walk; For to Thee I lift up my soul.

Just a couple today. They are self explanatory. God is eternal, and so is His lovingkindness.

If we listen and pray to hear, maybe we can hear His lovingkindess. Not just in the morning.

We can trust in Him and His lovingkindness. We can trust that He will teach us how to walk and how to live. It's not a guessing game. He doesn't play games with our lives. He's open and honest with us, with His feelings for us, and with His desire for good things.

If others have been deceptive with us, it may have colored our view of God. But I have found that He is patient with me as I work on trusting Him.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lovingkindness, 4

Psalm 119:88 Revive me according to Thy lovingkindness so that I may keep the testimony of my mouth.
Psalm 5:7 But as for me, by Thine abundant lovingkindness I will enter Thy house. At Thy holy temple I will bow in reverence to Thee.
Psalm 33:18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness.
Vs 19 to deliver their souls from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

As I go through this, I'm able to see more of the power of God's lovingkindness. According to the psalmist, God's lovingkindness can revive us. By it we can enter into God's house. And there is even a promise for those who hope for His lovingkindness. It can deliver their souls from death and keep them alive in famine.

I'm beginning to wonder what God's lovingkindness can't accomplish. The more I meditate, the more I know we underestimate God's lovingkindness.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lovingkindness, 3

Psalm 52:1 Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The lovingkindness of God endures all day long.
Psalm 66:20 Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His lovingkindness from me.
Psalm 6:4 Return, O Lord, rescue my soul; save me because of Thy lovingkindness.

Psalm 52:1 really hit me one day. I read it and thought of all those 'tough guys' or men who do evil, hurt other people, oppress women and how they thought the were so tough. And you know, I realized that this verse is stating point blank that God is not impressed with their strength. They boast in their might and ability to get away with evil. But God, who's might far surpasses the might man's puts His stock and heart in lovingkindness, a lovingkindness that endures (has the strength to last) all day. It is far better than what any mighty man can boast in.

Love Psalm 66:20 because it assures us that God doesn't turn away our prayers from Him nor turn away His lovingkindness toward us.

And the last one, the psalmist calls on God to save him, not because the psalmist deserves it... but because of God's lovingkindness, which I'm slowly learning is one of the (if not THE) most powerful forces well ever know.

Dear God, help us to see the power and endurance of Your lovingkindness.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Lovingkindness, 2

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
Psalm 89:14 Righteousness and justice are the foundations of Thy throne; Lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness) go before Thee.
Psalm 33:22 Let Thy lovingkindness, O Lord be upon us, according as we have hoped in (waited for) Thee.

Psalm 103:8 Echos Exodus 34:6&7 that we have looked at several times here. It echos and confirms. God doesn't just love us a little. His very nature is ABOUNDING in lovingkindness. And it wouldn't hurt to meditate on not only 'lovingkindness' but on what 'abounding means. When you are dealing with an Infinite Being, what could abounding mean? Abounding in the Infinite would be quite overwhelming to the finite (that's us).

Dear God, open our hearts to know what Your abounding lovingkindness looks like. We have been blinded and hindered by the abounding hatred of this world. May Your overwhelming lovingkindness flood over us and through us, washing out the hatred and bitterness we have internalized.

Psalm 89:14 says that righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Human beings are unjust in their hearts and love, when they love, unjustly. But beyond that... In addition to the righteousness and justice as a base, what God sends out before Him, before He goes anywhere is lovingkindness and faithfulness. Coming into our lives, He send His lovingkindness and faithfulness first. Then from there, once He has full entrance in our lives, He can teach us how to have righteousness and justice as our foundations as well if we suffer in that area.

Psalm 33:22 Is a simple prayer, a simple request for His lovingkindness to rest on us that God can abundantly answer since He abounds in us. It is with great joy that I can point to this verse and say, "Let us wait on God and hope in Him. We can trust on Him to answer with His lovingkindness that goes before Him."

Monday, February 1, 2010

Lovingkindness, 1

It's Valentine's Month! And what better month to meditate on God's love for us than this month. So cut our your paper hearts and locate your paper doilies (if only in your imagination) to help us remember the greatest love every known. The greatest Lover of our souls that exists in all eternity. [Gushy and sappy enough for ya? ;). Honestly, sometimes when I get caught up in it I do feel like a hopeless romantic. Except I'm not hopeless. I've put my hope in the deepest, most powerful love we could ever know. And we don't know the half of it. It's an ongoing journey into places of His love we will never get to the end of. And it's good.]

Psalm 48:9 We have thought on Thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple.
Psalm 101:1 I will sing of lovingkindness and justice, To Thee, O LORD, I will sing praises.
Psalm 107:43 Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things; and consider the lovingkindness of the LORD.

The Psalmist talks about thinking on God's lovingkindness and singing about it. He talks about giving heed or paying attention to it. And if this is good enough to the writers of the Psalms, it should be good for us today.

If we meditate on His lovingkindness enough, perhaps our own hearts will break out into a song. Or not. Maybe poetry or prose or art or dance or whatever inspires you.

But you've gotta meditate on it a bit. You gotta get more out of it than what you have in the past, that is if you want to know Him more. His lovingkindness is unfathomable, but even so, He calls us to walk in it and know it. He calls us to try to at least fathom a part of it. Remember Ephesians 3:19 from Knowing God 4. to know the love of God which surpasses knowledge....

You gotta at least try.