“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dating love

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready.” (Rev. 19:7).

Jesus’ bride, His earthly kingdom made herself ready. But this readiness is not righteousness or the holy life of perfection. It’s not perfection that makes the church ready for Jesus to come. Perfection comes afterward in verse 8, as a result of the bride making herself ready. “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” (Rev. 19:8).

The preparation for her Husband’s robe of righteousness is the first love, the love the church had at it’s beginning (Rev. 2:4,5), the love we had when we were courting our spouses. Remember dating? I remember how thoughts of my wife-to-be ran through everything I did. I couldn’t get her out of my mind. I kept at my job; I still drove nails and cut wood and framed houses; I kept up the pace of the other carpenters; but back in my sub-conscience I entertained her love for me.  I could take the cold, the heat, the physical exhaustion, the hunger, because I fed on her; I was strengthened and comforted by her.

Elder Morris Venden loved to preach on this subject and he often used his brother for an example of this. When they were roommates in college, one night pea-soup fog smothered their mountain college campus. Elder Venden said that it was the perfect night to curl up in a nice chair and read a book. But his brother couldn’t sit still and read. That was the last thing he wanted to do—because he had a girlfriend in the city—he was in love.

So he struck out in the pitch blackness of night, where he could not see his hand in front of his face, much less drivers seeing him before they passed him by, and he hitchhiked and walked the 70 miles to Oakland to see his girlfriend. He did the most foolish, out-of-the-ordinary thing; he did the impossible, by most people’s standards—because of love. Love drove him to do that. Love made his thumb stick out in the thick fog; love made his arm hold out his thumb for hours. He wasn’t taking any glory for that walk-a-thon; love made him do all these things. He had one thing on his mind—his girlfriend. First love. It wasn’t love-sick sentimentalism, which is selfish. It was selfless, out of his control; it glorified God because it exemplified Jesus and His gift of love.

This is the love Jesus had for us. This love drove Him into the wilderness to experience our temptations (Mk. 1:12); love drove Him to Calvary (Heb. 12:2,3). Not simply pity for our miserable plight in a world dominated by Satan and his hatred, but joy and the enjoyment of being with us compelled Him to leave the comforts, the purity and power of heaven to endure life-long service and destitution, a life increasingly filled shameful abuse and ignominy. Need of our companionship complimented His compassion and sympathy for us. He wanted to dwell with us and to redeem and sanctify our love for Him and His Father. “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them,” (Ex. 25:8) “that I may enjoy their company.” He even came under the Law of God and its just condemnation and edification. He accepted the laws and taboos of men and the unjust destructive condemnation of those traditions, in order to know what all of His precious children go through.

And when sin is no more He will join with us again forever. “I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3).

We can see the love of God all around us now. “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Hab. 2:14).

“God is love” is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass. The lovely birds making the air vocal with their happy songs, the delicately tinted flowers in their perfection perfuming the air, the lofty trees of the forest with their rich foliage of living green―all testify to the tender, fatherly care of our God and to His desire to make His children happy.  Steps to Christ, p. 10.

We can see His love in creation, but it is in the human love where we see the love of God most wonderfully manifested. We see it in the sadness and depression caused by separation. B___ has to be away for a month on business, and his wife, L____, has turned from cheerful to gloomy. I’ve never seen her like this before, but it’s beautiful because I realize love is motivating it. The pain and stress of her husband’s absence and her loneliness for him has burdened her down. There is sadness in that situation, but glory also. “Gather My saints together unto Me; those that have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice.” (Ps. 50:5). Her pain because of love is the basis for citizenship in the kingdom to come. All who lack that experience will never be there. Christ’s answer to them will be, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Ellen White wrote touching letters to her husband, James, because the ministry forced him to travel in an age when travel was slow and separations were long.  I sleep alone. … I prize my [being] all to myself unless graced with your presence. I want to share my bed only with you.Lt 6, 1876.

These expressions of woe because of loneliness for another radiate out to the universe from this speck of dust, and the Spirit of God shows the unfallen angels and worlds the beauty of love, redeemed loveHis image, “things the angels desire to look into.” (1Pet. 1:12).

The love of a renovated race will give them special place and status in the new heaven and new earth. The love between Adam and Eve will again grace the hearts of every inhabitant of other worlds which never fell into sin, eternity without end, the universe without bounds. Jesus will rejoice over His redeemed and sing over them. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17). They will manifest a tenderness and depth of needy love that He originally gave to Adam to be a praise in His kingdom.

“For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.
I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” (Isa. 62:5-7).

“For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” (Isa. 61:11).

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12).

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.” (Isa. 61:10). 

Their heart-felt song of praise to God and to the Lamb will come from the context of first love, the dating love that will never again grow cold. Forever will be heard humanity’s lovesongs to the Godhead.

I cried a tear, Christ wiped it dry;
I was confused, He cleared my mind.
I sold my soul; He bought it back for me,
And held me up, and gave me dignity.
Somehow He needed me.

You gave me strength, to stand along again,
To face the world, out on my own again.
You held me high upon a pedestal,
So high that I could almost see eternity;
You needed me, You needed me.

And I can’t believe it’s You, I can’t believe it’s true.
I needed You, and You were there.
And I’ll never leave, why should I leave, I’d be a fool,
Because I finally found someone who really cares.

You held my hand, when it was cold,
When I was lost, You took me home.
You gave me hope when I was at the end.
And turned my lies back into truth again;
You even called me friend.
You gave me strength, to stand along again,
To face the world, out on my own again.
You held me high upon a pedestal,
So high that I could almost see eternity,
You needed me, You needed me.

Christ needed me; God needed me.
They needed us, They needed us.
                                    Anne Murray, You Needed Me. (Adapted)

“And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev. 5:11-13).

The hosts of heaven will cry, “Holy!” A redeemed race will answer back, “Love!” And throughout eternity the praises of God’s holy love will fill the universe with peace because of His wise molding of the great controversy that forever etched holy love in the hearts and minds of all His saved creation.


Anonymous LovingSingle said...

Very inspirational. Marriage to me is a blessing. Thank you for raising my spirit.

5/05/2014 2:25 AM  

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