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“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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Divine love overcomes the world


“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Heb. 2:14,15).

To be in spiritual bondage is to have no liberty. To escape that kind of imprisonment means liberation of body, mind, and soul. David had such freedom. Even as a youth he possessed himself because he was possessed by love for his holy God. He had courage, unflagging strength. He was unstoppable, undepressible, indefatigable. Nothing could get David down ―because he knew he was loved.
 
“Thou hast also given me the shield of Thy salvation: and Thy right hand hath holden me up, and Thy gentleness  hath made me great.” (Ps. 18:35). Love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.” (1Cor. 13:7). Prophecy can fail of giving hope; flowery or powerful sermons likewise fail; knowledge can die on the vine. But love never fails. Never!

Where did David get such love and power? From his father, Jesse? Maybe as a child. But how did he keep the power of love all his adult life? Through Jesus, “my Lord” (Psa 110:1), David’s everlasting Father. “A Father of the fatherless” (Ps. 68:5).
 
“It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
As for God, His way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: He is a buckler to all those that trust in Him.
For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?
For Thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
For by Thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.
He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.
He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
For Thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.” (Ps. 18:27-32).

But, how did David arrive at this close relationship with God? He had already established a union with Jesus long before. First, through his kinship with the sheep of his flock.
 
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: and I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.” (1Sam. 17:34, 35).

It was familiarity with his lambs that produced the love to lay down his life for each one. But, when it came to the required sacrifice for his sins, his familiarity and attachment with the sheep produced salvation for David, as it had done for Abel. “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering.” (Gen. 4:4).

Justification, redemption, gave David the powerful love and courage he had for the rest of his life. Conversion of the heart, the gift of God made David the example in every aspect of leadership ―military generalship and accurate marksmanship, legislative, religious, educational, social interaction and courtesy, justice, poetry and song, outward beauty and character simplicity, et cetera. He was leader physically, intellectually, and greatest of all, spiritually. In everything David operated from joyful, obedient faith. His faith in Jehovah was indomitable.

The Lord’s salvation set David on the path of service for the kingdom of righteousness, extending its boundaries as far as he could in his lifetime, and reestablishing the holy statutes of the Law of the Lord that the neighboring nations had exchanged for abhorrent Babylonian and Egyptian religious and social practices.

Once justified by faith, David could recognize the hand of God in His help and protection, drawing increasingly nearer to his Savior and experiencing the Lord’s continuous sanctification.

“In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth.” (Ps. 18:6,7). David knew the “rest [that remaineth] to the people of God” (Heb. 4:9), and despite his many years of strenuous labor in warfare and organizing a nation, he lived to the old age of 70.

Yet, much threatens us today, causing endless, invisible work from our brains and nervous systems. We die early because our unrested nerves use up all the life that our parents bequeathed to our vitality.

The threats cause fears. We fear suffering. We fear the possibility of death; we fear the dread mystery of life after death. We fear we can’t pay our taxes; we fear the policeman; we fear our boss. We fear losing our property, our money, our food. We fear rejection from friends and family, and ostracism by workmates. We fear for our dogs and cats; we fear from the lions and tigers and bears. A deer could jump out of the woods at any time. A bee could fly into the car. A gnat could fly into my eye. A virus could cripple me. We fear the unknown; we fear the future of our country and the global economy. We buy insurance for everything we can, and then we realize that insurance companies don’t have insurance. Our lack of assurance is killing us.

All of these anxieties leave our nerves jangled. We are perfect targets for cancer and death because every nerve of our body is making its waste products that can’t leave the body quickly enough. This is even true for athletes and health enthusiasts, who keep all the laws of health except the last one, Trust in God. But, the last is first and most important to health.

So, the extensive nervous system waste accumulates and overwhelms the immune system. This is especially the case when we fall to the temptation of eating or drinking things, or taking any drugs we can find that pretend to relax the tangled nerves or stimulate the exhausted heart. Instead, they only temporarily silence the symptoms, while they exacerbate the cause of the problem. So, the nerve wastes accumulate to dangerous levels. We become walking sausages, from head to toe our bodies filled to the brim with disease and on the verge of Bubonic Plague.

“From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but [internal] wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.” (Isa. 1:6).

The problem is the fears. The cause of fears is the threats. The cause of the threats is living in a world of sin with a heart that is disconnected from power to neutralize the threats. That power is the love of God. The world’s populations are disconnected from God and His love. They don’t know the salvation that comes from surrender to His love and the presence of His Holy Spirit.

Some people have an earthly advantage to face threats. Their parents loved them abundantly and instilled human love into their hearts. There is nothing wrong with that. But, human love is not enough to face all the threats of life. After we are adults, and we pass our prime, our parents can’t provide the confidence we need to continue fighting life’s battles. Our parents begin to wilt: first their body, then their mind, then their soul, lastly their breath.

We are then left with a God-sized hole in our heart. Especially is that hole grandiose if we never sought our heavenly Father early in life. Our knowledge of Him is almost infinitesimally small and our faculty to trust Him is equally atrophied and almost mummified. But, if we make a move to find Him, He will move into our path. If we continue to seek Him, He will make Himself found.
 
“And there ye shall serve gods, the work of men’s hands, wood and stone, which neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deut. 4:28,29).
 
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected [the promised] end. Then shall ye call upon Me, and ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:11-14).

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” (Acts 17:27).

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matt. 7:8). If they do it with all their heart, desperate for His love.

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” (3Jn. 1:2). “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2Tim. 1:7).

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.” “This is the first and great commandment.” (Mark 12:30; Matt. 22:38).

Love liberates. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2Cor. 3:17). Absolute love liberates absolutely, and frees us from the presence and power of sin. And with the exchanging of love with the divine One comes the breathing of eternal life. And with such fresh life comes rest and peace and health.

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