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Author Topic: How God expresses His Love towards us....  (Read 3162 times)

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Lori Bolinger

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How God expresses His Love towards us....
« on: November 12, 2018, 09:28:55 am »
The first study I did on God's Love was a study into How God expresses His Love towards us.  I found like 11 or 12 different ways God expresses His Love toward us.  So I thought we could talk about those ways.  The easiest way for me to start the conversation is to list the one's I found one at a time with some passages that go along with what I found.  The entire study is too long for here not to mention that is is no where close to all that we can glean from God's Love.



So here we go, jumping in...the first way He expresses His Love towards man is by the very essence of Him being God, "God is Love"...'



    Scripture tells us that God is love.  Love is the center, the core of who God is, His very nature is love.  Everything that radiates from God starts with love.  His commands, His law, His judgment, His redemption, His gifts, all are centered around the very nature of God, a nature whose purpose is love. 



 



I John 4:7-8 (NIV)Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.





1 John 4:16 (NIV)And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.





    Love is said to sum up all the law and the prophets.  It is God's command to us His people.  Love is the key to understanding God and what He wills for us His people.  Everything God has ever done, and all that He is doing, everything He will do, is rooted in Love.  When we begin to understand love we begin to understand God and when we begin to understand God we begin to understand Love.





Matthew 7:12 (NIV)So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.





Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”





Galatians 5:14 (NIV) The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."





    Love is in fact so important that it not only sums up the law and prophets, but it fulfills the law as well.  A love that reveals God's heart and mind.  A law whose intent and purpose is our protection.  A law that is not burdensome to us because we understand and accept that the laws intent is love.  Our very victory over the world is found in the midst of this love.  When new things come into our world, it is love that tells us what is and is not sin.  Understanding love is the very basic, beginning of our spiritual journey.





I John 5:3-4  (NIV) In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,  for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.





Romans 13:8-10  (NIV) Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.





    Love then becomes a vital part of our understanding in this relationship journey we have chosen to embark on with the living God.  But as many people have pointed out, defining love is much harder than it might appear.  The definition of the worldly view of love might be something like, “a strong like for something or someone”.  Websters defines love as...a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties  (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests  b : an assurance of affection 2: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion   Yet God's love is a  fierce, deep, powerful,  abiding love which takes us far beyond a simple strong attachment. It is a love so huge that (John 21:5 NIV) “If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”





    As we study the biblical definition of love we discover some very interesting things that should compel us and change us and increase our understanding of what real love is.  This study is about the pictures of love that scripture provides for us.  Snapshots so to speak of a God who loves His people with a passion, with an unconditional love and wants them to share that love with the world.  The love we speak of, is the love of a God who wants us to understand what love is and why it is the greatest of all the gifts He bestows upon us.  But before we start our voyage into these pictures of love, let's take a few moments to define Biblical love.









    Biblical love is putting another above self in an act of humility, creating a covenant whose purpose is to restore.  Before you panic over this definition, let's take it apart and look at some of the key words, then we will put it back together for an even clearer understanding of what this amazing love of our Lord really is.

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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2018, 08:34:50 am »
I think so many times we forget what our salvation cost God the Father.

I wasn't going to share this story be maybe I should....when our son died, his favorite song was "How Many Kings" by downhere.  (Worth listening to if you don't know the song)  Every time I hear the song, I am reminded that God would never ask us for more than He has already given that we might live.  Not even a beloved child is more than He has already given.

We often talk about Jesus sacrifice and suffering but we seldom think about what God the Father suffered as He watched His son suffer and die for our sins.
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patrick jane

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2018, 10:35:04 am »
Jeremiah 31:3 - The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.




Galatians 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.





Romans 5:8-10 - 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.





Ephesians 3 King James Version (KJV)
3 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

13 Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


King James Version (KJV)
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Hearing, believing and trusting the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross; His death, burial and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins and REPENTING, seals us with that Holy Spirit of Promise - EPHESIANS 1:10-14 KJV - The Lord is not slack concerning His promise. 2 Peter 3:9 KJV - 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 KJV - Ephesians 1:10-14 KJV - Romans 10:9-10 KJV - Romans 10:13 - Romans 10:17 - Ephesians 1:7 KJV - Colossians 1:14 KJV -


Copyright Disclaimer: All audio and music belongs to the owner/creator. This is a non-profit. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2018, 10:37:21 am »
Patrick, Ephesians 3:3 is one that I love that we often overlook.  He Loved us with revelation...revelation as to who Christ is, why we need Him, how that happens, etc. 

Great post, thanks
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 08:35:33 am »
Love is what gives us real value.  Somehow love defines who we are in this world.  We may desire all kinds of things, shoot for the stars so to speak, but in the end, what we really want, what we are really looking for is love, for love is what gives us value.  Whether it's a spouse, children, friends, the world, what we are looking for deep down in the depths of our being is unconditional love.

Proverbs 19:21-22 (NIV) Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.

    Like a moth to a light, love calls to us, drawing us to itself.  The depths of our inner most being cry out for love.  When we are alone and we see someone with love, we fight the urges of jealousy.  We are beings created to love and to be loved.   For us, that one whose desire for us is passionate and pure and uncompromising, is God.  From the moment God first conceived you in His heart, you were loved with an unfailing, unconditional love.  It is a deep abiding love that cannot simply disappear.  When you are with Him, you take His breath away, you are the apple of His eye.  He is always seeking to have a deeper fellowship with you.

Psalms 17:8-9 (NIV) Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand
those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who are out to destroy me, from my mortal enemies who surround me.

Deuteronomy 32:10 (NIV) In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste.
He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,  like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.
The LORD alone led him; no foreign god was with him.

Psalms 36:7 (NIV) How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!  People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
   Not only does God love you, but His desire, His every purpose, His every act is to woo you into loving Him in return.  His very nature is love and therefore, His being cries out to love and to be loved and His choice is you.  With a disarming love, He reaches out to you, and desires for you to reach back to Him.  He calls you and “romances” you, telling you that you are His hearts desire, you are the one He chooses.  You are the one that will satisfy His longing.  You are the chosen one.

Matthew 9:13 (NIV) But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Romans 8:5 (NIV) Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires
.
Mark 12:33 (NIV) To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

   As big as our God is, there is room in His love for all of us to hide beneath His wings.  We come and we are no less because there are others there, but rather we are greater because of all who have come.  It is together, in unity that we discover that love is not just for us alone, but for all the world.  It is a love whose arms reach far and wide and seeks to envelop all of us, for in that unity we find strength, comfort, completeness.  Love completes us, makes us whole, allows us to function the way we were created to function.  In that unity we find treasures of far greater value than anything we can imagine. 

Romans 12:4-5 (NIV) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

I Corinthians 12:12 (NIV) Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

Ephesians 4:16 (NIV) From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

   But as one body, we are called into a relationship unlike any other, for we are the bride of Christ.  God romances the Church, and calls her, He spends time with her simply telling her the sweet nothings that tell her that no matter what the world says, no matter how many have gone before, the bridegroom has eyes only for her.  She is His hearts desire, His covenant, His purpose and without her (the Church) God Himself is not complete.
Ephesians 5:23-32 (NIV) For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”  This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

   To Christ, our value is beyond words, He folds us close to His very heart and tells us how much we are loved.  But way to often we miss those loving words, we forget to believe what the world has taught us since birth.  In our world, where it is way to easy to forget that there is another part of our existence, a spiritual part, we dismiss the romance, push aside the gestures of love, and pretend that we are unlovable.  We forget to accept that we are loved beyond words, and hold to the lies of the world and the enemy that would have us know death rather than life.  You are a bride of great value...

Matthew 6:26 (NIV) Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Matthew 10:31 (NIV) So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Luke 12:24 (NIV) Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!

   In fact, the love of God for us His bride is so consuming, so pure, so complete that He gave His very life that we might live.  He gave of Himself, sacrificed Himself that we might live.  Real love isn't about denying self as much as it is about sacrificing self.  Giving up who we are for the good of another.  It is about putting anther above self even unto death.  Sacrificial love does not even think of self, so there is no denial to consider, rather in humility, love gives of itself for the good of another.

Romans 3:24-26 (NIV) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Hebrews 9:15 (NIV) For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

   The bridegrooms love for you His bride, is so pure and faultless, that it's very purpose is to present you blameless.  He is more concerned about you and your purity than His own.  With grace and passion, He gives Himself so that you will forever be without blame.  The condemnation for your sinful acts are washed away, and it is love that restores you unto your bridegroom, able to wear white.  Able to proclaim to the world that you have waited for the bridegroom, you are without fault, without blemish, the virgin bride of the bridegroom who gave Himself for your purity.

I Corinthian 1:8 (NIV) He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:27 (NIV) and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Romans 8:1 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

   The sacrificial love of the bridegroom for the bride is so complete that is should compel us to completely trust the bridegroom with every aspect of our lives.  From the things we agree with to the things we don't.  The bridegroom gave Himself so that we could see that trusting Him is a good thing, an honorable thing.  Love builds our trust as it seeks our good above all else this life can hold.  In sacrifice it earns our trust.  For when loves only purpose is that we might be protected and loved and held without blame, there is nothing in that love that can hurt us.  In this realization, we learn to trust that love, we learn to yield ourselves to that love, and in that love, we learn that we are more than our thoughts could have ever imagined.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 37:3 (NIV) Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Proverbs 22:19 (NIV) Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

   Our marriage to the Lamb does not happen in this life, in this temporal world.  And so we can look at this time that we are now living in as the engagement phase of our relationship with our Lord.  It is the period of time in which we learn to trust God with all of our being.  We are growing closer to Him, in an effort to become like one.  We are His and He is ours and neither lives only for self.  With unity we carry on, in anticipation of the moment we are wed and our life takes on a new dimension, a new adventure.  Love desires to grow closer to one another so that we can become as one.  This growing begins with a complete honesty, a pouring out of ourselves, so that there is nothing hidden from our bridegroom.

Matthew 10:26-27 (NIV) “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs

Matthew 13:35 (NIV) So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

Mark 4:22 (NIV) For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.

Hebrews 4:13 (NIV) Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
   
   As we learn to both trust one another and communicate with one another we discover that by some strange miracle, we have confidence in one another.  We begin to learn that God will always be there for us and we begin to see with different eyes.  No longer is this about me and Him, but suddenly it is about us and who we are becoming to each other.  We find that love compels us to trust in someone other than ourselves, to give into the wonders of a relationship unlike any other.  With confidence we run the race that is before us and it is with this confidence that we learn and grow in each others love.

II Corinthian 3:4-5 (NIV) Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.

Ephesians 3:12 (NIV) In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Hebrews 3:6 (NIV) But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

I John 4:16-19 (NIV) And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.

   But love is sometimes a process of growing and learning and maturing in relationship.  It's about learning to become as one.  We struggle and strive to learn to become as one, in unity living as though we are of the same mind and heart.  We allow our relationship be flourish into a beautiful bloom in which all the different parts work together in harmony, creating in the world a beautiful song that cannot be denied as anything short of heavenly.  We purpose to see our love for one another mature into a concert of wonders beyond our own understanding, an orchestration of the supernatural becoming a part of the physical and the physical becoming as one with the supernatural.  And it is here in the concert of oneness, that the world has an opportunity to see evidence of a living God.
   
I Corinthian 13b-15a (NIV) The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.  By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.  Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?

Galatians 2:20 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 3:28 (NIV) There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

   With confidence and trust, with perseverance and patience, we begin to learn that not only has God chosen us to be His bride, but He loves us with a passion so great that it seeks to show itself.  A love so eternal that it allows us to pull away and cries for us to return.  A love so complete that it demands a oneness.  A love to huge, that it saw us across the vastness of eternity and from there, it knew that we were the one's the only  one's that could complete the circle of love that is the center, the core of both our existences.

Romans 8:38-39 (NIV) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 09:03:29 am »
This expression of God's Love for man has a great many beneficial things to tell us about our marriage relationships and our sexual purity...
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 09:57:09 am »
Today we look at another one that is difficult for many people especially those that had a very difficult and/or abusive father.  Yet God says that He Loves us as a Father Loves his child.

Scripture often tells us that God's love is comparable to the love of a father.  We believers are adopted as sons and daughters of the most high King.  We are His children and He is our Father.  We are loved with a Father's love that is far beyond what we can know or understand from our own fathers.  And yet, as we grow and mature in this life, our own understanding of a father's love takes on a new dimension when we ourselves have children.  It is with this new role we begin to see even our own fathers with a different vision, a different understanding of what a Father's love really is all about.  In looking at a Father's love, we can draw from our experiences as children as well as parents and in doing so, let us also remember that we are imperfect, whereas God's Father love is a perfected love.  He is not only our hero, but a righteous Father whose love is without compare. 

Matthew 7:11 (NIV)  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

John 1:12-13 (NIV) Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

   There are two primary jobs given to a parent when their child is born.  The first is to teach the child all that is necessary for him to learn in order to be a success in life.  With determination and confidence a father diligently teaching his child in the ways of truth.  Whether actively, formally teaching the child, or passively through behaviors and attitudes, the father teaches.  Day in and day out, the father teaches.  With love and passion the father teaches.  With patience and wisdom, the father teaches...
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. 

Luke 12:12 (NIV)  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

John 14:26 (NIV)  But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

   But the Father also protects with a fierce love and passion, he watches over his child, guarding them, protecting even when the child is unaware.  Without thought of his own safety or comfort, the father steps in when the child is in danger and rights what could go wrong.  He is a watchful pair of eyes that monitors the events, balancing the discomfort and pains that are fleeting and teaching moments, with the passionate protection whose purpose is to be an ever present bubble around the child so that harm does not ever come their way.
John 17:11-12 (NIV) I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
I Corinthian 13:7 (NIV) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

II Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV)  But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Matthew 18:14 (NIV)  In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

   The protection of a father's love does not stop the child from making mistakes, or facing difficulties.  In fact, a father knows that often times it is in adversity, in struggle that the child learns to be strong, learns to stand alone, learns to be the man or woman they are intended to become.  This realization on the part of the father, encourages the child to live his/her life, to have experiences.  The loving father allows the child to have stories of his own to tell, amazing stories of adventures and victories of his own. 

John 10:10 (NIV)  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Matthew 6:25 (NIV)  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Matthew 25:46 (NIV)  “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

   This protection and faithfulness of the father, stirs within the child, a hope unlike any other.  Without waver, the child knows the father will always come, always be there.  The child learns to hope even when everything seems lost.  A hope that there is always someone to come home to, always someone waiting and anxious for his return.  Always someone who loves no matter where they go or what they do, the father will always welcome them with open arms and a warm embrace.

Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)  But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.

Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)  We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,

Luke 15:11-32- The prodigal son

   As fathers, we feel the pains of our children.  There is a connection, a tie that cannot be broken.  They are forever our babies and that means that we hurt when they hurt, we struggle with them, not apart from them.  When they suffer, we feel it in the depths of our being and live in that deep and abiding pain that marks our connections and ties to our children.  They are not only a part of our genetic make up, they are a part of who we are.  When they were born or adopted we took on a responsibility in which we would forever be their parent and them our child.  This connection causes us to rejoice when they rejoice with a joy that is pure and deep and to hurt when they hurt like no other relationship we will ever have on this earth.

Romans 8:26 (NIV)  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

John 4:24 (NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Psalms 145:18 (NIV) The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
   For as protective as a father is toward his children, there are still things that come in and hurt the child.  Things that the father has little or no control over.  Whether the father is trying to prevent a much greater pain down the road, or this thing is out of his control, fathers sometimes have to stand back and watch their children suffer.  Sometimes, fathers have to watch their children make mistakes and bad decisions and in those moments, the father watches, groans, and trusts that the child will see wisdom and comfort before it is too late.  A father knows that through trials, difficulties, and struggle, comes a maturity and the building of character necessary for life.

John 16:33 (NIV)  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Acts 14:22 (NIV)  strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said.

II Corinthian 6:3-10 (NIV)  We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited. Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

   A father's heart is warmed when his young son/daughter runs to greet him after a long day of work.  He cherishes the time they have to play together and be the best of friends.  A father grieves when the child enters their teen and young adult years and the pulling away time begins.  Fathers are totally absorbed in the innocent and trusting eyes of the child.  He feels his heart pulled ever closer to the amazement of who the child is and who he/she is not.  With wonder, he welcomes the warm embrace even of a dirty face.  He is consumed by the pride he feels with each success no matter how small.  The joy envelops him as the child sees the world, his world, through eyes that have not been clouded by the sin and harsh realities of this world.  A father's love responds to the cries of innocence and trust that mark the very nature of a young child who have never learned differently.

Matthew 11:25 (NIV)  At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

Mark 10:14 (NIV)  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.

Matthew 18:3 (NIV) And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
   In perseverance of the lessons and the patience of a father whose only intent is the good of the child, the father shapes the child.  Encouraging him to follow the footsteps that have gone before him/her.  Showing the way through words and example, the father's influence is so strong, that the child learns even when no words are spoken.  The young child desires to be just like his/her father.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)  Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I Corinthian 11:1 (NIV)  Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

I Peter 2:21 (NIV)  To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

   But even though the father loves the child with a passion, with a protection unlike any other relationship on this earth, the father also loves the child enough to punish him/her.  This correction is an unfortunate extension of the father's love for the child and though we all might argue it once in a while, it is the corrections that speak to the child how very much they are loved.  We need boundaries, we need to know there are limits in place on our behavior for it is in those moments that we learn that the father's love is without condition.
Proverbs 3:12 (NIV)  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Hebrews 12:6 (NIV)  because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Revelation 3:19 (NIV)  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.

Deuteronomy 8:5 (NIV)  Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

   Part of this discipline however, is to face the consequences of our own actions.  A father's intent is not to stop the child from growing and maturing, but rather to guide him/her as he grows and matures.  This sometimes involves facing the consequences of his/her own actions and though the father may be in agony as he watches from a distance, it is the facing of these consequences that will one day, allow the child to stand on his/her own two feet.  It is this learning that will someday create an adult who is not dependent on the father for everything.

Galatians 6:8 (NIV)  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

James 1:15 (NIV)  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.


Proverbs 11:18 (NIV)  A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.

   The father is always ready and willing to welcome the child home, no matter where the child has been.  With an anxiousness, the father watches and waits and longs for the son/daughter to return to his waiting and open arms.  He longs to know once again the warm embrace of the little child that is the center of is very heart, his very reason for continuing on.  It is this father love that knows no limits as he waits and watches and for the child to return home.

Luke 15 (NIV) Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coin and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.  “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’  So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’  “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

   But maybe the most important aspect of a father's love is his willingness to stand in the place of the son/daughter.  To is willing to be the substitution, the one who takes the penalty.  He is willing to give his own life, that the child might live.

Isiah 53:4-6 (NIV)  Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Matthew 8:17 (NIV)  This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.”
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2018, 10:27:50 am »
God also Loves us like a King

The kings of old had the final authority over all matters in the kingdom.  God's Kingship authority is an authority whose purpose is not to oppress, but rather it's purpose is to love.  It is an authority over all things in this earth and outside this earth.  The King's authority is over all!
   What is God's authority over?
Matthew 9:6 (NIV)  But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.”

Matthew 28:18 (NIV)  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Mark 3:15 (NIV)  and to have authority to drive out demons.

Luke 10:19  (NIV)  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

John 5:27 (NIV)  And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

Acts 1:7 (NIV)  He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

   Who gives the authority?  Whose authority is it?

Luke 4:32 (NIV)  They were amazed at his teaching, because his words had authority. 

John 7:28-29 (NIV)  Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him,  but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

John 10:18 (NIV)  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

Romans 13:1 (NIV)  Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Colossians 2:10 (NIV)  and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.
   Absolute authority demands absolute obedience.  That authority is what stirs us to fear the punishment of disobedience and it is that authority that compels us to obedience.  All under authority are subject to that same obedience.  It is a heart that yields to that understanding and authority that honors God and His love.

Matthew 8:28 (NIV)  The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

Mark 1:27 (NIV)  The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.”

Romans 6:17 (NIV)  But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

Ephesians 6:6 (NIV)  Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.


   As we begin to experience the authority of one who is above all, as we allow that authority to infiltrate into our very beings and lives, we also begin to understand what faith is.  Faith is an understanding of what that authority is and how that authority functions in our lives.  Faith it an unquestioning acceptance of the authority in our life.  It is an allegiance to the one with the power over death and hell.  And it is this faith that opens our eyes to see what we could not see before.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV)  When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.  “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”  Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.

   With an understanding and acceptance of authority comes a realization of who we are in that Kingdom.   The servant cannot be greater than the Master.  The servant thinks nothing of his own pleasure but seeks only to serve the King, the one of authority.  With humility, the servant lives a life of servitude and loyalty and in so doing, gains a place of honor and trust from the King.  With reverence and obedience and praise, the servant willingly, with great honor accepts his lowly position.  His thoughts become for the honor and glory of the King, and the King alone.

Revelation 19:5-6 (NIV)  Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both great and small!” Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.

Luke 1:48 (NIV)  for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed,

Luke 17:10 (NIV)  So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

Matthew 10:24 (NIV)  “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.
Matthew 20:26-28 (NIV)  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

   In humility, the servant of the King learns a new boldness.  The servant who understands his place in the Kingdom, also begins to understand the risk involved as he/she goes before the throne, totally vulnerable and completely at the mercy of the one whose authority is final and absolute.

Psalms 111:10 (NIV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Matthew 20:16 (NIV)  "So the last will be first, and the first will be last."

John 5:22-23 (NIV)  Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,  that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

   We become a part of the kingdom.  As a part of the kingdom, we find that we must obey the commands of the king.  It is for the collective good of them entire kingdom that orders and commands are issued.  With authority it is assumed they will be carried out for the common good of the entire kingdom.  With loyalty the servant seeks the good of the kingdom and trusts the commands of the King.   

Matthew 6:33 (NIV)  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 13:38 (NIV)  The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one,

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

John 15:11-13 (NIV)  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

   Our obedience to the kings command is the authority in which we live.  But a strong kingdom always has those whose purpose is to overtake, to bring down the kingdom and the king.  There are those whose purpose is to destroy the king, the kingdom and the holy commands that govern the land.  The servants of the king are ever watchful for these enemies and protective of the vulnerable in that kingdom.  Like wolves in sheeps clothing, or those who refuse to carry out the commands of the king, the kingdom is vulnerable to attacks.

II Peter 2:1 (NIV)  But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

Matthew 7:15 (NIV)  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 7:1 (NIV)  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Proverbs 16:18 (NIV)  Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.

   A good king always provides the resources we need in order to complete the task we are commanded to do.  Sometimes it feels like an impossible task, but the King in His wisdom always knows what we need and when we need it to accomplish all that He asks of us.  The Kingdom is set up for success. 

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law

Matthew 6:8 (NIV)  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)  “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

II Corinthian 8:15 (NIV)  Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.  At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,  as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”
Philippians 4:19 (NIV)  And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

II Corinthian 9:8 (NIV)  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

   King love is about the community being strong, by strengthening the individual.  It's about working together in unity with one head, one command, one authority over all.  Love binds us together into one.  In working together, with the same commands, the same authority over all, we are drawn into a unity that binds us together and strengthens us, all working for the same goal, the same authority.

Ephesians 4:3-4 (NIV)  Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called;

Ephesians 4:13 (NIV)  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Colossians 3:14 (NIV)  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

John 17:23 (NIV)  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

   What a beautiful picture of a King's purpose for His people we find in Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)

 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

   King love is community love, it is not about judgment, but about support King love is about strengthening individuals through the strengthening of the collective.  It's about creating a safe environment in which each individual knows they belong, are cared for and strengthened.  In King love we no longer fight alone.  In King love, when we fall, there is someone there to pick us up, help us through, show us the way.  It is this love, this loyalty, this caring for one another that identifies us as belonging to the Kingdom.

John 13:34-35 (NIV)  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Leviticus 19:18 (NIV) “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

I Thessalonians 4:9 (NIV)  Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2018, 10:52:51 am »
He also expresses His Love to us through friendship....

To understand friend love, let's first go back to King love.  The King has intimate authority, so much so that even family was not permitted to go before the King without first being summoned.  To enter the presence of the King without this summons, is to risk everything, including life. 

Philippians 2:12-13 (NIV)  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Deuteronomy 6:13 (NIV)  Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.

Psalms 111:10 (NIV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.

Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Psalms 2:11 (NIV)  Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

   So when a King, calls you friend, it is to remove the authorities that hold you away from him, and in their place, openly invite you into his presence whenever you wish to come.  A friend is someone who has free access.  Is free to come and go as that friend pleases.  It is someone who enjoys each others presences but does not need to be summoned first.

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)  Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Ephesians 3:12 (NIV)  In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV)  Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

II Corinthian 7:15 (NIV)  And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling.

   A friend is not only openly welcome to come into the presences unannounced, but a friend risks his very life to rescue his friend.  There is a kinship, a bond between friends that sometimes is stronger than the bond of a brother.  It is a relationship in which sacrifice is not to great.  It is a love that knows no bounds, does not question loyalty, but rather gives without reservation.  Jesus sacrificed His life with this kind of love a love that is welcoming and inviting, even unto death.

John 15:13 (NIV)  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

I John 3:16 (NIV)  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Romans 8:39 (NIV)  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

   With an unquestioning loyalty, the friend is ever faithful, always diligent.  The friend is not swayed by the rumors or reports of others for the friend has confidence in his understanding of the heart and character of his companion. 

I Chronicles 29:18 (NIV)  LORD, the God of our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep these desires and thoughts in the hearts of your people forever, and keep their hearts loyal to you.

Psalms 12:1-3 (NIV)  Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts. May the LORD silence all flattering lips and every boastful tongue—

Psalms 25:10 (NIV)  All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (NIV)  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

   Unlike the relationship of a brother, a friend is not a friend by force, but by choice.  There is a connection, a bond that extends blood.  It is a love of acceptance, belonging.  There is never a question of whether or not one is invited or accepted for the door is always open and the invitation always given.  With loyalty the friend is a forever companion whose acceptance is without question. 

Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)  One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

   With unquestioning loyalty and love, friends share with one another the things hidden in the heart.  Things that no one else can know.  With confidence and trust the friend opens up and allows himself to be exposed for all that secrets that he holds within.  A friend trusts his friend to hold confidences and rightly handle information that is entrusted to him.  A friend knows us intimately and loves us anyway.

John 15:14-15 (NIV)  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)  A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Psalm 25:14 (NIV) The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.
Job 29:4 (NIV)  Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
Proverbs 3:32 (NIV)  For the LORD detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.

   The love a friend restores to us a value beyond words, a value of belonging and kinship and confidence even without any logical reason.  Our friends are just our friends, there is really no reason that we can put our finger on, they just have a value beyond what we can calculate. 

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Romans 12:10 (NIV)  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 

1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV)  For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Hebrews 4:2 (NIV)  For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.

   With a oneness, a unity, friends share life with one another.  They share families, friends, dreams, troubles, joys and pains.  What affects one, affects the other, they grow together and learn from one another.  Friends unite their lives together.

I Corinthian 6:17 (NIV)  But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

Philippians 2:1-2 (NIV)  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Colossians 2:2 (NIV)  My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,

   As our friendship grows and matures we begin to see things through the eyes of our friend.  We learn what pleases the other person, what he finds funny, what angers him.  With time, contact, and unconditional love we begin to see things with not only our eyes but the eyes of another. 
James 1:23-25 (NIV)  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

I Corinthian 13:12 (NIV)  For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Job 19:26-27 (NIV)  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

II Corinthian 3:18 (NIV)  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
II Corinthian 5:7 (NIV)  For we live by faith, not by sight.

   As friends, we hold a place of honor.  No longer are we servants, waiting to be summoned, but we now are given the confidence of the King.  Our commitment is to our friend and our friend commits to us.  With unity of purpose we become lifted up in stature and given the seat of honor for all to see.

Psalm 8:5 (NIV)  You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.

Psalm 62:7 (NIV)  My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Psalm 84:11 (NIV)  For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

   Through commitment, obedience and servitude, the servant of the King demonstrates his loyalty and thus evidences his worthiness to become a true friend, a coveted friend.  It is the repeated demonstration of service that allows the King confidence to remove all the walls that once held the two apart and in their place, a love unto death.

1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV)  But Samuel replied: “Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Matthew 4:10 (NIV)  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”

   With a listening ear, the friend considers all that he is told.  Attentive and respectful and with great care he listens and accepts what his friend reveals.  As if the information were of great value it is protected and guarded and never used against the one speaking.

Matthew 17:5 (NIV)  While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

James 1:19 (NIV)  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Psalms 46:10 (NIV)  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
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MichaelC

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2018, 05:06:51 pm »
I think so many times we forget what our salvation cost God the Father.

I wasn't going to share this story be maybe I should....when our son died, his favorite song was "How Many Kings" by downhere.  (Worth listening to if you don't know the song)  Every time I hear the song, I am reminded that God would never ask us for more than He has already given that we might live.  Not even a beloved child is more than He has already given.

We often talk about Jesus sacrifice and suffering but we seldom think about what God the Father suffered as He watched His son suffer and die for our sins.


Dear Lori,

I couldn't remember how to reply to you without clicking on Quote.  First, I had to click on Reply {in color} up on the top, then Quote.  The posts here are Very long and it will take me a lot of time to respond, so hang in there.  I'm trying.  Family concerns/problems going on.

Yes, it is an in-depth subject about how God must have felt when He saw His Son die, in such a horrible way, for our sins.  I suppose it is one of the worst ways to die, to be honest.  I do also wonder how God or Jesus managed to endure such torture in their minds, Spirits, and hearts.  I think that most people now would die in a much Easier death, rather than Crucifixion.  This shows how God would give even His only Son for His Love of us.  Just like He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, and waived it; so He did so Himself, without waiving it.  It is a crushing blow to all of us, and also to Satan.  He cringes at hearing anything about Christ.

Because of what Jesus and His Father did, it makes His children be able to withstand what difficult troubles they can, during the trials that come now, and also hereafter.  Oh, the Goodness that both the Lord God and the Lord Jesus, have for those who believe in Them.  They will NOT desert you, if it is your will.  So don't backslide now, because it's time for the second show.

Don't be too hard on me, nor unwilling to hear what I say, for I am doing the best that I can.  I'll leave it at that.  Let your Strength and Countenance be your weapon until the new times begin.  The Earth shall become white, like a bride adorned for her husband and Jesus shall rule it for over 1,000 years.  It isn't going to be the End of life on Earth, just a Change, or First Resurrection.  The Meek shall inherit the Earth, remember?  The Earth shall not undergo it's death until a bit later.  I'll explain it better soon, because I have much work yet to do.

Keep It Together As Best That You Can!

« Last Edit: November 18, 2018, 05:09:33 pm by MichaelC »
I believe in the Lord God and how He wanted us to live.  I worship Him and love Him exceedingly much.  I also believe in Jesus Christ and His commandments, and in the example He gave us on how to live our lives.  With them both, and I love and adore Him as my Savior, Master and best Brother & King.  My love is strong and encompassing.

:angel:    :angel:    :angel:
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 11:52:53 am »
No worries, I enjoy every comment and know that there is a lot here.

Today we look at how a Savior Loves us

I Corinthian 13 tells us that love rejoices in the truth.  The first thing we see with Savior love is that we are told the truth.  As uncomfortable as truth is, our Savior tells it like it is.  Without sparing our feelings, our Savior speaks to us truth, not for the purpose of harm, but for the purpose of restoration.

Romans 3:23 (NIV)  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 Titus 1:2 (NIV)  in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,

I John 1:8:10 (NIV)  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

John 8:44 (NIV)  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

   With an eternal love, the Savior loves.  Seeing through time and space, longing to be united with His beloved.  There is no beginning nor an end to His love. 
Psalm 103:17 (NIV)  But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—

Jeremiah 31:3 (NIV)  The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.

Psalm 89:2 (NIV)   I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Psalm 105:8 (NIV)  He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations,

   With a sacrificial love, God gave Himself, emptied Himself, gave the most precious part of Himself to redeem us and restore us unto Himself.  With a passion and pain and willingness unlike anything this world had ever known or ever will know again. 

Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIV)  Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Hebrews 9:26 (NIV)  Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

1 John 4:10 (NIV)  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

   The value is not in the gift but rather the giver of the gift.  It is the love that made the gift of salvation possible.  Without love, there could be no salvation, no eternal life, no divine sacrifice.  Love is the greater, because love made the sacrifice possible.  Love is the absolute pinnacle. 

Matthew 23:16-22 (NIV)  “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?  Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.  And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.  And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.
John 3:16 (NIV)  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

   This love has the power to transform our lives, to create within us a new being.  Love is the power that turns us from beings of the world, living in sin, to new creations living in righteousness, for the glory of God. 

Philippians 3:21 (NIV)  who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

1 Corinthians 15:43 (NIV)   it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

Romans 12:2 (NIV)  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Galatians 2:20 (NIV)  I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

   A Savior's love, sees what others cannot or do not see.  With clear vision a Savior sees the value hidden beneath the sin and trapping of the world.  A value of the royalty that is within.  With care and honor and love, the Savior restores to us a place of honor, as we are invited to sit at the King's table as children, heirs.

Romans 8:17 (NIV)  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Romans 12:10 (NIV)  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

   The sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ was so consuming that many go to that cross and stop there.  It is there they assume they find love and knowledge and understanding, and so it is at the cross that they stop.  But a Savior's love is so much deeper, a Savior's love takes us to places unexpected and victories beyond our imaginations.  A Savior's love draws us ever closer.
Matthew 6:33 (NIV)  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV)   “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

John 5:30 (NIV)  By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.

Acts 17:27 (NIV)  God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.

   With a clear understanding, the Savior proclaims who He is and the authority that is given Him.  With confidence and trust, He knows whose He is and what His role, His purpose is in this world.

John 8:28 (NIV)  So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.
John 4:26 (NIV)  Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

John 5:19 (NIV)  Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does

   With an ability to see within us, to the depths of our being, the Savior sees both who we are and who we can be.  He sees the things hidden so deeply within ourselves that we don't even know they are there.  With loving care, He cultivates the good things, and pulls out the weeds and when He is finished, our lives becomes displays of righteous beauty and reflections of Christ.

Matthew 10:26-27 (NIV)  “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.

Mark 4:22 (NIV)  For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.

Luke 10:21 (NIV)  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
1 Corinthians 4:5 (NIV)  Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

   With a purpose, Christ our Savior loves.  With a purpose He came and sacrificed.  With a purpose, our Savior knew what was to come and what His desire, His goal was, and that goal, that plan that purpose was to draw you unto Himself, fulfilling you by loving with a love like this world cannot know.

2 Timothy 1:9 (NIV)  He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 

Philippians 2:13 (NIV)  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Ephesians 3:11 (NIV)  according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord

Hebrews 6:17 (NIV)  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

   With a passion that knows no bounds, Savior love reaches out to us both eternally and while we were enemies of our Savior.  Without thought of self, the Savior loves with a forgiveness, with a passion, with a determination, with an eternal love.  A love without conditions, a love that knows no bounds.

Psalms 89:1-4 (NIV)  I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever; with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.  You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,  I have sworn to David my servant,  ‘I will establish your line forever and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

Romans 5:8 (NIV)  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 8:39 (NIV)  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

   With a transforming power, the Savior loves and with that love, He brings into our lives a cleansing, a purity unlike any this world can or has known.  We become new, clean, healed, set apart people whose lives are fulfilling God's purpose from the beginning of time.

Ephesians 1:4 (NIV)   For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

II Corinthians 2:14-15 (NIV)  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Ephesians 5:2 (NIV)  and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

   With humility, the Savior gives of Himself.  With humility the Savior serves.  The Savior not only offers Himself, but serves us, who are unworthy.  He becomes the least so that we might become more.  With great humility, the King becomes the servant and the Savior becomes our friend.  It is a love of recipricals.

Philippians 2:1-11 (NIV)  Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,  then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!
 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Matthew 20:28 (NIV)   just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

   Without judgment, the Savior loves.  Without judgment the Savior offers us the opportunity to see with different eyes, to heal with power and might, to live when once we were dead.

1 John 2:2 (NIV)   He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

Romans 5:10 (NIV)   For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Romans 3:25 (NIV)  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished--

   The wonders of the transforming power of Savior love in our lives, begins with our repentance.  In repentance, we acknowledge we have sinned and turn from that sin.  Without shame, we turn from our evil ways, our sinful nature and begin a journey that will take us into righteousness. 

Matthew 4:17 (NIV)  From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Mark 1:15 (NIV)  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Luke 13:3 (NIV)  I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.
Luke 15:7 (NIV) I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

   Savior love is a forgiving love.  It holds no wrongs over the object of it's love.  Savior love does not hesitate to forgive, or bear a grudge.  Savior love simply forgives and forgets.

Colossians 3:13 (NIV)  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

1 John 1:9 (NIV)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

   The Savior forgives and forgets our sins, but He also reminds us of where we have been.  He asks us to remember what He has done, where He has taken us.  He reminds us of the victories and asks us to cherish those things whether great for small, as small treasures that will lead us into our next adventure in the Lord.
Psalm 105:5 (NIV)  Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

Psalm 143:5 (NIV)  I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)  We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

II Timothy 2:8-9 (NIV)  Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV)  For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 10:00:31 am »
I think we are ready for servant love...one that I personally find fascinating.

A servant is thought to be one of if not the lowest of all society.  Whether by force or by choice, the servant gives up himself completely so that another might live with lavishness and glory.  His constant thought and purpose is to lavish upon another the glory and finery that the life can afford.   He disappears into the background, thought unseen, voice unheard, thinking only of the one to whom he serves. 

John 13:1-17 (NIV)  It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.”  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.  Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 10:10 (NIV)  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Revelation 21 (NIV)   Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.  But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”  And he carried me away in the Spirit to a mountain great and high, and showed me the Holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.  It shone with the glory of God, and its brilliance was like that of a very precious jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.  It had a great, high wall with twelve gates, and with twelve angels at the gates. On the gates were written the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. There were three gates on the east, three on the north, three on the south and three on the west.  The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.
The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long.  The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick.  The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass.  The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.  The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.
 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.  The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.  The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.  The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.  Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
   With great humility the servant denies his own desires his own wants that another might have all that he wants and more.  A love that reduces a man to the role of a willing servant is a love whose humility is complete and deep and without reservation. 

Isaiah 53 (NIV)  Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?  He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.  He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
 By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.
 He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.
 After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

   Without favoritism, without judgment, the servant serves, lavishing us with favor.  Speaking to us of our great worth.   With nothing in self to prove, and purpose of restoration, the servant freely loves all with a purity and compassion.  He does not pick and choose whom He will serve, but rather serves everyone with lavishness and joy. 

Romans 2:11 (NIV)  For God does not show favoritism.

Galatians 2:6 (NIV)  As for those who were held in high esteem—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not show favoritism—they added nothing to my message.

Ephesians 6:9 (NIV)  And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

   The servant sees something within us that others do not see.  His vision is on our worth, our value.  The flaws of our being are overlooked, and in it's place is a righteousness, a Godliness.  The servant sees who we are deep inside and in that vision, purposes to bring out the very best we are.  His love draws out our best qualities for the world to see, while diminishing the poor qualities that are our shame.

Genesis 1:27 (NIV)  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Romans 8:29 (NIV)  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV)  And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Colossians 3:10 (NIV)  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

   The servant is not new to being hated.  He is accustomed to being mistreated and abused for the sake of the one he serves.  With patience and humility He allows Himself to endure great discomfort and abuse, and sometimes, the abuse is at the very hand of the one He serves.  With expectation of being mistreated, the servant continues on with his tasks, without anger, without hatred, without malice of any kind.

John 15:18-20 (NIV)  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.  Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
John 7:7 (NIV)  The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.


John 3:19 (NIV)  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

II Corinthian 2:15 (NIV)  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

   The servant's love is a  willing Love.  Without reservations, the Servant loves.  He serves with a willingness and eagerness.   With a willingness to endure the servant serves, confident in His place, confident in His purpose.

Psalms 51:12 (NIV)  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Psalms 119:108 (NIV)  Accept, LORD, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me your laws.

Matthew 23:1-12 (NIV)  Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:  “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;  they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.  And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.  Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.  The greatest among you will be your servant.  For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

I John 3:16 (NIV)  This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

   In this humility and servanthood, real love, real treasure, real grace can be seen.  With all the focus off self, there is nothing to cloud the vision, to hide the real treasure from the world.  It is in this servant love that the real nature of the love can be found, exposing real value, real beauty, real love to all with eyes to see.

II Corinthian 4:7 (NIV)  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

I Corinthian 2:5 (NIV)  so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

I Corinthian 1:27 (NIV)  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

James 2:5 (NIV)  Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?

   By understanding that it is the least that reveal the greatest, the servant is happy to serve.  Content to offer himself daily that others might live.  In being reduced to the least, the servant reveals in a new and amazing way, the greatness around him.   With an understanding of the power of both love and humility, the servant loves without hesitation.

Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)  Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him,  and he began to teach them. He said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 19:30 (NIV)  But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.

Matthew 20:16 (NIV)  “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

   With anticipation, the servant is watchful.  Like the parable of the talents, the servant anticipated the wishes of the master.  It is about knowing and understanding.  The servant begins to see the world through different eyes as He carries out the wishes of the Master.

Matthew 6:8 (NIV)  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Psalm 38:9  (NIV)   All my longings lie open before you, O Lord; my sighing is not hidden from you.

Matthew 6:32 (NIV)   For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Luke 12:30 (NIV)  For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.
   As the servant anticipates the needs of the one being served, provision is made so that the job can be completed.   Every need is anticipated and met, not just the important one's.  The servant and master work together, providing raw materials so to speak so that the servant can successfully finish the task and the one being served can find contentment and joy.

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been
given to us.

Romans 14:17 (NIV)  For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

   With a well defined purpose, the servant came to fulfill the King's command.  With purity of heart and determination, the servant labors to accomplish the task before Him. 

Hebrews 6:17 (NIV)  Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

Ephesians 1:5 (NIV)  he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

Ephesians 1:7-10 (NIV)  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,  to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Ephesians 3:10-12 (NIV)  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,  according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.  In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

   With a clear understanding of what and who is great among us, the servant works feverishly to reveal the hidden greatness within, for the world to see.  A greatness that is within each and every one of us.  A greatness that is magnifies by the Holy Spirit dwelling within.  It's a love of discovery, revealing, a greatness that is within you. 

Psalm 145:3 (NIV)  Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Psalm 150:2 (NIV)  Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.

Isaiah 9:7 (NIV)  Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.


   With a clear understanding the servant knows His place and purpose.  With wisdom beyond His station in life, He grasps the importance of His job and how much His job done well, will change situations and transforms lives.

I Corinthians 1:27 (NIV)  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

Jeremiah 8:9 (NIV)  The wise will be put to shame; they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the LORD, what kind of wisdom do they have?

James 1:5 (NIV)  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Proverbs 9:10 (NIV)  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

   The servant knows that there is joy and reward in suffering.  The wealth of understanding and grace can be found in the midst of humility and suffering.  All reservations are discarded as the servant joyfully faces and endures his suffering without complaint, but rather with expectation of the rewards that await those that persevere.

James 1:2-4 (NIV)  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

James 1:12 (NIV)  Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 5:11 (NIV)  As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

   With great joy the servant perseveres.  There is no shame, or regrets in the mind and heart of the servant, only joy.  A deep, lasting, abiding joy marks the service and commitment of the servant.  There is no thought of station in life, no worry over things that entrap us.  The servant heart is marked by the willing joy of servitude.

Psalms 86:4 (NIV)  Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

John 15:11 (NIV)  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 16:22 (NIV)  So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

   Often the love of the servant seems foreign to us, as if we can't fathom such love, such passion for another.  As if in a foreign world, we see the servant preforming His duties, and  wonder at such thing, wonder how a servant can be so happy, so content with his station in life.  But real understanding of this amazing contradiction, comes when we begin to understand that indeed, the servant with such love is not from this world.

II Corinthians 5:1-10 (NIV)  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.  Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling,  because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.  For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.  Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.  For we live by faith, not by sight.  We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Romans 8:23 (NIV)  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.

   Servant love is a love that holds within it's grasp, a new vision.  The focus is not simply on the here and now, but with eyes that can see beyond, eyes that see into the future and even into eternity, servant love, focuses on the big picture.  He sees what we cannot see, sees beyond the physical world, sees into our future, and it is there that the servant finds strength and purpose that offers Him great contentment and joy.

Proverbs 29:18 (NIV)  Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 16:25-26 (NIV)  Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past,  but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith—

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV)  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Revelation 1:1-3 (NIV)  The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,
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Lori Bolinger

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Re: How God expresses His Love towards us....
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2018, 02:35:11 pm »
Today is a Shepherd's Love


Psalms 23 (NIV)  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

   The Good Shepherd is our protection, our refuge.  It is in the Shepherd's love that we find a safe haven in which to rest from our worries. 

Psalm 5:11 (NIV)  But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Psalm 62:7 (NIV)  My salvation and my honor depend on God ; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Psalm 62:8 (NIV)  Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

   In great wisdom and knowledge the shepherd watches over the sheep, knowing the real dangers in this life, never startling, never worrying over the things that are not really dangerous, the shepherd watches the shadows and knows with great care what can harm his flock and it is those dangers that he is ever watchful of.
John 10:12 (NIV)  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.

Matthew 7:15 (NIV)  “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Acts 20:29 (NIV)  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

Ezekiel 34:7-10 (NIV)  “‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:  As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,  therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD:  This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

   The shepherd knows the sheep intimately.  Every sickness, every danger, every fear.  He knows the personality of that sheep and how best to protect him/her.  With great care the shepherd watches, calling each by name.

Luke 12:7 (NIV)  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

Matthew 6:26 (NIV)  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Psalms 139:13 (NIV)  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

   With understanding the sheep learn to trust the shepherd.  They learn to put their faith in him and allow him to be their comfort.  They learn to not fear, only trust, because the shepherd is always there, always on guard, always watchful.  In confidence the sheep follow.

I John 4:18  (NIV)  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)  So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I John 4:4 (NIV)  You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Romans 8:31 (NIV)  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Psalms 118:6 (NIV)  The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

   The sheep do not understand what the shepherd does.  With a superior intelligence and understanding, the shepherd guards the sheep.  He understands things that the sheep do not.  He knows what they do not know, and this knowing, this different perspective, allows the Shepherd to protect the sheep from things they don't even know are a danger.

Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)   "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.

Psalm 40:5 (NIV)   Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.

Job 5:9 (NIV)   He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

Psalm 92:5 (NIV)   How great are your works, O LORD, how profound your thoughts!

   When the sheep are sick or wounded, the shepherd cares for them.  He binds our wounds, caring for the sick and wounded.  Their needs are met, because the shepherd loves the sheep. 

Malachi 4:2 (NIV)  But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

Isaiah 30:26 (NIV)  The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.

Isaiah 35:6 (NIV)  Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

Hosea 6:1 (NIV)  "Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.

Though the issue being talked about is not one of God causing wounds, it could become part of the discussion, it is helpful to study all of Isaiah 30 on this topic.

   When the shepherd calls to the sheep and they listen, the sheep learn the sound of His voice.  They take comfort in knowing the shepherd is near.  Everyday, many times a day, the sheep hear the shepherds voice and as time continues on, the sound, the tones, words, sound, becomes part of the everyday life of the sheep.  They discover one day that they know that voice very well, it is ingrained in them, familiar to them.  The sheep know the shepherd's voice.

John 10:1-21 (NIV)  “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.  The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”  Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.  The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
The Jews who heard these words were again divided.  Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

II Timothy 2:19 (NIV)  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

   The Shepherd's voice confident above all else, with assurance, the Shepherd speaks to the sheep.  His voice is quiet and calming.  It is in the quietness of the moments in which the sheep graze, that the voice of the Shepherd is made known.  It is when we are still, quiet, listening, that we hear the Shepherd's voice and it is in those quiet moments that we learn that voice and the peace that it holds.

I Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)  The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Psalms 4:4 (NIV)  Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.

Psalm 119:11 (NIV)  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV)  So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

   The sheep don't just listen to the voice of the Shepherd but they quiet themselves in His presence.  With confidence in the Shepherd, they listen and test the voice to see if it is from the one whom they can trust.

Psalms 46:10 (NIV)  He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV)  Test everything. Hold on to the good.

1 John 4:1 (NIV)  Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

   Healthy, content sheep are appetizing to wolves.  Wolves who wish to devour the sheep by scattering them, making it easier to capture them, one at a time. 

Matthew 7:15 (NIV)  "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Acts 20:29 (NIV)  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.

Matthew 24:24 (NIV)  For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.

Matthew 26:31 (NIV)  Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

   The shepherd does not try to change his language to that of baa's and bleats, rather the shepherd speaks his own language and encourages the sheep to understand.  With confidence and trust that the sheep will know him and be comforted by his words, even words they may not understand, the Shepherd guides and guards and soothes the sheep with the sound of His voice.

I Corinthians 2:11-13 (NIV)  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.

1 John 2:27 (NIV)  As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in him.

John 14:17 (NIV)  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.

1 Corinthians 2:12 (NIV)  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us

   The shepherd guides the sheep by leading them down the right paths.  He goes before them, making sure everything is safe, that the path is the right one.  He shows the way and in doing so, guides the sheep exactly where they need to go.

Psalm 25:5 (NIV)  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalm 48:14 (NIV)  For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Isaiah 42:16 (NIV)  I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.

   The Shepherd asks the sheep to listen, to follow, and to trust.  The sheep don't understand everything that is going on, they don't comprehend what the shepherd is doing all the time, but they can trust the shepherd because His purpose is pure and without flaw.  The sheep cannot rely on their own understandings, but rather their complete trust is in the Shepherd.

Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

Psalm 37:3 (NIV)  Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Proverbs 28:26 (NIV)  He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Isaiah 40:11 (NIV)  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

   By only revealing to the sheep what they need for that moment, the shepherd skillfully leads.  The sheep are not turned to the right or the left with worry about what is to come, for only the Shepherd knows what is yet to be.

Proverbs 25:2 (NIV)  It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NIV)  The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

Acts 1:7 (NIV)  He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

   The Shepherd leads the sheep into a journey of maturity.  With guidance, comfort, aid, the shepherd leads, showing us along the way where we have grown and matured and encouraging us to grow even more, to mature beyond our own imaginations, into mature sheep that have learned to trust fully in the Shepherd.

1 John 3:14 (NIV)  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

1 John 2:3 (NIV)  We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands.

1 John 2:5 (NIV)  But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him:

John 13:35 (NIV)  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

   As the sheep learn to trust the Shepherd, they find a peace that comes from complete trust and confidence in the Shepherd and His love.

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)  You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

John 14:27 (NIV)  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

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