“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.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Back to the basics, Pt. 2

So what about God’s love? We have talked about His love; we have looked at it categorically. But, what is it? We can know about it from the text book; but we can only really know it by experiencing it. We must conceptualize it; we must welcome it and respond to it in order to know it by experience. But, in order to welcome and love and experience God’s love we must see it or hear the sound of it. What does it look like? What does it sound like? We must have what the people got 2,000 years ago. What did they see and hear?
“Then drew near unto Him all the publicans and sinners for to hear Him.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This Man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
And He spake this parable unto them, saying,
What Man of you, having an hundred sheep, if He lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until He find it?
And when He hath found it, He layeth it on His shoulders, rejoicing.
And when He cometh home, He calleth together His friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with Me; for I have found My sheep which was lost.
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:1-7).
The love of God looks like a shepherd enduring anything and everything to save one of His beloved sheep. I have a dog, Pingo, who has become very attached to me and I to him. I’ve been away working out of state for 2 months. So, a few days ago I drove 700 miles to come home because I feared he would be too distraught from my absence. That was a grueling 11 hour drive. But, my agonizing drowsiness was all rewarded when I saw on his face the unexpected surprise of seeing me!
Pingo wasn’t in danger like the lost sheep was in danger of wild animals, but I knew he was suffering and I suffered for him until I could return and comfort him. You don’t know Pingo and therefore probably don’t feel empathy for his loneliness of me. But, maybe you have your own dog. Or, maybe you’ve been separated from your parents or siblings or friends, and know the ache in the heart that I’m talking about between Pingo and I.
Between the sheep and their shepherd the same bond existed. It was as if sheep were humans to the sheep herder. They were his children and he was their father. Uncanny maybe, but a reality. God has put His faculty of love into all of His intelligent creation. The image of God causes all of us in the animal kingdom to love and depend on love.
So, the shepherd automatically leaves the flock in the fold and endures the rigors and dangers of searching high and low for the one lost. Love drives the shepherd. Fear of peril to his helpless child sends him afar. Wolves and other predators roam the land, hungry and looking for prey. The bond between the shepherd and his sheep cannot allow the shepherd to stay home. No matter how old or how often having strayed from the flock, he must find his precious little one.
This is what the love of God looks like. Can you hear Him calling with all His heart? Jesus is our shepherd. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” (Jn. 10:11).
The Son came out from God on His Father’s errand. He was commissioned to redeem a fallen creation and to exonerate His Father. He was His Father’s ambassador, sent with an ambassage of peace. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (Jn. 3:17). Over forty times in John’s gospel Christ states that His Father sent Him to save us.
“Having yet therefore one Son, His wellbeloved, He sent Him also last unto them, saying, They will reverence My Son.” (Mk. 12:6).
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk. 4:18,19).
“And He said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” (Lk. 4:43).
“He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” (Matt. 10:40).
“I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24).
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:5-8).
“Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.” (Mk. 9:37).
God sent His Son on a mission to save His rebellious, pitiful human race and to show us the Father, to vindicate His Father’s character. “Philip saith unto Him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” (Jn. 14:8,9).
“When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son.” (Gal. 4:4).
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” (1Jn. 4:9).
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1Jn. 4:10).
“And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” (1Jn. 4:14).
“Thou shalt call His name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21). This is the love of God. This is the God of love.


Blogger Nsubuga Daniel said...

As I was reading again this article, I remembered a text that runs like, Let us look for the old path and walk in it.
I cant remember all but in all. God help us to get back to the basics

11/12/2014 2:02 PM  

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