“The love of God is greater far than tongue or pen can ever tell; it goes beyond the highest star, and reaches to the lowest hell.” The hymn, “Love of God”, was written by Frederick Lehman in 1917 in response to a sermon he heard about God’s love. He had lost everything through business reversals and the words came to him as he packaged oranges and lemons in a packing house.
In a book I am currently working on, one of the main characters has just miscarried a baby she and her husband wanted very badly. She questions God’s love for her and ends up searching the New Testament to find concrete examples of Jesus demonstrating love while here on earth. There are many, many, many instances but here a few that she found:
1. When Jesus received word His cousin, John the Baptist had been beheaded, He went away to a lonely place so He could be by Himself. But the crowds found Him. Instead of getting angry and telling them to leave Him alone, He healed them.
2. Twice He supernaturally fed the multitudes who had been listening to His teaching for a long time so they wouldn’t faint on their way home. He showed concern for their bodies as well as their souls.
3. In Matthew 8, a leper knelt down before Jesus and said that if Jesus was willing, He could heal him of his leprosy. Jesus reached out His hand and touched the leper, told him he was willing and commanded him to “Be clean!” The passage goes on to say that “immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy” (Matthew 8: 3 NIV).
4. The woman taken in the act of adultery. Jesus treated her with love and compassion, when the Pharisees wanted to stone her. He told her He didn’t condemn her and to go and sin no more.
5. Mary and her sister Martha showed Jesus where His friend Lazarus was buried. Jesus wept when He saw the place. The Jews present commented on how much Jesus loved Lazarus. Jesus proved His power and His love by raising Lazarus from the dead.
6. On the cross, Jesus told John to take care of His mother. He was in spiritual and physical agony, but He wanted to make sure she was provided for.
7. Instead of maligning those who put Him on the cross, He asked His Father to forgive them
8. He forgave Peter who cussed and swore and said he never knew Jesus, after travelling with Him for more than three years.
9. In the Garden of Gethsemane He submitted to those who came to arrest Him, and later He yielded to His executioners as they nailed Him on the cross. In the Garden He asked them, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:53 NIV). A legion was a military term from the Roman army which denoted a group of at least 6,000 soldiers. Should He have chosen to, Jesus could have summoned 72,000 dazzling, mighty, glorious angels to deliver Him. But He didn’t, because of His love for you and me.
10. In his Gospel, Luke wrote that in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was in such agony of spirit that His sweat was like great drops of blood falling on the ground.
11. In Luke 22:42 (NIV) Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” In love, He put aside His will for the Father’s.
You may say, “Why enumerate these? We already know them.”
I ‘ve written them down because when the answer to our prayers is delayed, when nothing in our circumstances seems to change, when God doesn’t answer as we thought He would, one of Satan’s tactics is to tell us God doesn’t love us and that He’s not a good God.
We need to remind ourselves from the Scriptures of the many times when God in human flesh demonstrated His love for us while here on earth. The whole life of Jesus was a message of love. Love Himself sent His Son to purchase our redemption.
Dear God, whatever problem we’re facing today, may we not be like Peter who grabbed a sword and started swinging in the might of his flesh to deal with trouble , but may we remember the God we serve has the power and the resources to fix any problem which comes our way. When we doubt You, bring to our minds examples of Your unfathomable love. In the precious Name of Jesus, Amen.
I usually head to my desk around eleven a.m. After checking my email, I go to my Twitter account, do some posting, and respond to posts. Then I check Facebook to see what’s happening there.
If I’m honest, it’s easy to spend too much time on Twitter. My monitor is divided into two sections. My work in progress (WIP) is on the right, other things on the left. That work in progress keeps calling to me, telling me to get going. But it’s easier to look at Twitter than to figure out what comes next in the plot line. Pulling myself up by the bootstraps, I move my eyes to the right.
Once I get back into the WIP, I’m totally immersed. In fact, when I stop writing, it takes me a minute to get my head back into reality. While writing, there is constant rewriting and going back over what you’ve written. For example, I don’t want to leave my main character standing by a window in one paragraph and have them outside in the next, with no explanation of how they got there.
After finishing a chapter, I read it back to myself out loud. It helps to hear the flow of the writing. If somethings jars me, I go back and fix it.
I write for two-and-a-half to three hours. Then I take a break. I leave the house and have a cup of tea at my favourite donut place. Those of you who know me know where that is. While there, I read. The more I read, the more I learn from the pros.
In the early evening, I return to my writing. I find this is usually a productive time. During my break, my subconscious mind has been thinking about characterization, setting, mood, and potential conflict. After writing for one-and-a-half to two hours, I quit for the day.
Then I get up the next morning and start all over again.
In Genesis 17:5, God changed Abram’s name. “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” Abram means “exalted father”; Abraham, “father of many nations” or “father of a multitude”.
Every time someone called Abraham’s name, they were calling him a father of many nations, when as yet, he had no children and he and his wife were old.
In changing Abram to Abraham, God added the Hebrew letter ‘hey’ (ha). ‘Hey’, the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, when spoken, sounds like our letter ‘h’. Every letter has a meaning in Hebrew, and the letter ‘hey’ means “breath, sigh, look, reveal’. When spoken, it has a very breathy sound. It is said to represent the breath of God, which we understand to be the Holy Spirit.
I believe when God changed Abraham’s name, He breathed into him His Holy Spirit, reviving Abraham’s old body and enabling him to become the father of many nations.
God also changed Sarai’s name. “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be” (Genesis 17:15) . Sarai means ‘honoured mother’ but Sarah signifies ‘mother of a ruler of nations’.
Once again, God added a ‘hey’ (‘h’) to Sarah’s name – thus empowering her old, barren body to conceive a child.
God changed the name of Jacob (cheater, deceiver, supplanter) to Israel (one who struggles with God) after Jacob had put away his idols and purified himself and struggled with God at Peniel. “Because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome” (Genesis 32:28).
In the New Testament, Jesus changed the name of his disciple, Simon to Peter. Simeon in Hebrew means, ‘the one who hears’; Peter (‘Chepas’ in Hebrew, ‘Petros’ in Greek), ‘a rock’. In the Scripture, we see the transformation of Peter from a brash, vacillating, foot in his mouth, Christ denying man to the rock who stood up and preached on the day of Pentecost.
Why have I mentioned these name changes? Because in changing their names, God infused the natural with His supernatural. And as born-again believers, we’ve been given His precious Holy Spirit, Who indwells us – Almighty God, creator of the universe, living in mortal men and women.
And that brings me to another question. As a born-again believer, what do you call yourself? Do you call yourself an old sinner, or the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? “For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness]” (2Corinthians 5:21 AMPC).
Do you see yourself sick, old, and deteriorating, or healed by the wounds Jesus bore? “Yet it was our suffering he carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness. We just figured that God had rejected him, that God was the reason he hurt so badly. But he was hurt because of us; he suffered so. Our wrongdoing wounded and crushed him. He endured the breaking that made us whole. The injuries he suffered became our healing” (Isaiah 53:4-5 VOICE).
Do you view yourself as poor, just barely getting by, living pay cheque to pay cheque? Or are you abundantly supplied, as the Scripture says you are? ““For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied)” (2 Corinthians 8:9 AMPC).
Instead of saying what the world says about us, we need to start saying what God’s Word says. God is faithful to His Word, which WILL come to pass in our lives, IF we continue to stand on it, no matter what we see around us.
And lastly, Revelation 2:17 says the following, ““Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches. I’ll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I’ll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name” (Revelation 2:17 MSG).
Yes, believer in Jesus, we will have a new name, only we and God know. It will be a name signifying the new creation we are in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17). It will reflect who we’ve become because of God’s grace. And that’s how we’ll be known for all eternity!
So dear friend, see yourself as God sees you. Call yourself as He calls you. See yourself with a new name – more than a conqueror, chosen, royal, holy. See yourself as the special possession of God you truly are.
In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.