God’s Thoughts to me
God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins (1 John 4: 9-10, NLT).
God is Love
I want to introduce my good friend, Markus Reins, to you. Not only is he my friend, but also a brother in Christ. He has been so kind to agree to write a guest post on my blog and for this I am eternally grateful. He is also passionate about sharing the Love of God with the rest of the world. The link to his site is indicated at the bottom of his introduction, so please pay him a visit and leave him your comments. Markus and his wife, Bettina, lives in Wiesbaden, Germany, serving their Lord. Thank you Markus, so over to you:
At the end of September this year I googled the Internet for Shulamite … because I love my dear Savior as much as we read about Shulamite in Song of Songs. Well, I found Mia’s post here (Link) and reading it, I was able to see behind her beautiful words… was able to see her heart.
I saw a heart that is consumed by a deep longing for her Master… yearning for His presence and intimate embrace. Of course, I had to express my heart to my dear sister and so a blessed exchange and friendship developed. Mia asked me if I would love to share about God’s love… and you don’t need to ask me twice about this one! With joy I agreed! So, you are going to read about the love of God… and the troubles we have with it in the beginning!
May the Lord touch you in your deepest depths… and rekindle the fire of burning love to the One who loved us first!
Dear greetings and blessings
On Target… or… Sidetracked
If there is one fact we can be very sure about, it is this one: GOD IS LOVE! And believe me there is no better news man can hear but these precious words: GOD IS LOVE! We all are on a lifelong hunt for love! Just look to the music charts – what is the theme most sung about?
Love! Love! Love!
We all have a very exact image in us of what love is all about:
Love is everything that makes me happy! Everything pleasing me, everything meeting my wishes and desires, I instantly regard as love or loving! And this even little children know:
When our second son had to get his first haircut ever, he didn’t like this procedure at all… and it was my “honor” to do this unthankful job! So he was placed in his baby chair with a large coat draped around his neck and he was supposed to sit as calmly as possible till this “martyrdom” was over. Well, I’m quite good at styling hair (even my wife trusts my skills!) but this was a “sweaty” workout… he didn’t make it easy for me!
But finally it was done! After we were finished, my wife told him how nice he was looking. He didn’t pay any attention to her and just said: “Daddy is bad!”
My wife was quite irritated hearing his tone and I have to confess – though I quickly pushed it away mentally – I felt a little sting in my heart, too. I didn’t speak to him, thinking it best to give him time to forget it but I listened to how my wife tried to convince this little guy that his father is so loving towards him. No way! For about a week his answer always was: Daddy is bad! But then eventually he forgot about it!
Today , having turned eighteen in August, he comes to me every couple weeks asking: Dad, I want this or that haircut…. please………………… :-)!
The same love that cut his hair as a toddler is cutting his hair today… no change at all! Till the end of my life he will be my beloved son! In the perception of the 18-month old toddler what I had done couldn’t be love at all! This daddy was a cruel slave-master… such a bad monster as you could hardly imagine!
Certainly you will smile at this story, thinking:
“Oh, yes, I know this, too! But I’m adult now… I’m mature! My perception of love has matured so I don’t think I would do this with God!”
Well, I have to tell you: We all do!
We all have our human perception of what we call love… but we forget that the love of God was sacrificing His only Son for us! Just imagine that you would kill your beloved son in order to save wicked, bad people!!!
God loved Jesus and no one forced Him to slaughter His beloved Son; delivering Him into the hands of a bloodthirsty, godless band of corrupted traitors… just… to save the very ones that killed Jesus! Is this how we express our love? Is this fitting the human imagination of love?
Never! This is utter cruelty… in our eyes! Absolutely insane… and I remember quite a reaction when a man first was confronted with this love of God!
This is blowing every dimension of understanding which we call love! If we love someone or something, we secure it, keep it safe and try to protect it. All our affection and attention turns around the ones we love. Yes, we would rather sacrifice ourselves to save our loved ones… but never would show our love by sacrificing our beloved ones to save wicked, bad people!
Often I think the people that talk so easily about God’s love have never sat down and visualized what they’re actually speaking about! They just got so used to Good Friday and Easter hearing all the stories again and again. They aren’t aware of the enormity of what happened on the cross anymore.
We read in the bible: God is love… quickly using all our human imagination and project it on God’s love.
We project our way of perceiving love and expect God’s love would be like we think it is! We’re off target… absolutely sidetracked! If God’s love was revealed in sacrificing His only begotten Son, why should His love for us be different in character?
When God’s way of showing love is revealed in allowing His Son to be tortured and killed… why do we expect that His love for us would just give us a cozy and comfy life???
(This is just a rhetorical question… a little push to think about God’s love a little deeper!)
God is still love… pure love… even in choosing to let you suffer for the rest of your life! This would just show the same “character of love” as He showed with His beloved son!
The disciples counted the sufferings of this earth nothing compared to the eternal glory… and what do we do? At this point I have to mention the enemy.
This tricky guy knows about the “perception problem”… He knows about God’s character of love… and he knows very well how man thinks and feels about love. And so he starts his delusion by waving the Bible as much as he can! No, no, no, he wouldn’t tell you about God’s love and how this love is shown… he just would point to all the scriptures speaking about God’s love! Knowing he could appeal to your perception and fantasy to create a wrong expectation of God’s love in you!
You will start to believe in a God of love… but be totally sidetracked in your expectation! He knows God wouldn’t change His love just to fit our human expectations.
He knows this loving God would start to love us His way… no matter what our expectations are!!!
We have found that the love of God differs quite a bit from our way to show and receive love. When the love of God is touching us, this means suffering for our old nature and so we’re prone to puzzling experiences, tormenting questions, critical doubts and unbelief!
The enemy then is quickly at hand whispering:
“Is this a God of love? How could this God be love? How could the taking away of things you love so much, be love at all???”
Do you see how dangerous it is to be sidetracked? How many believers I have counseled just because they were taught wrong concepts about God’s love… concepts they quickly swallowed because they fit into their old nature! How often have I tried to revive their faith after their illusions and misconceptions about God lay in shambles!
God isn’t man… and His love isn’t man’s love! As high as the heaven is above the earth His love is above the earthly emotion we call love (mostly our love is just pure selfishness!). – Isaiah 55:8+9
The enemy knows this and starts his seduction right from the beginning.
He fears disciples knowing about God’s true love… not caring for their earthly well-being but just living under the unction of God’s Spirit alone!
The enemy so loves to keep the truth from us. He loves to keep us sidetracked with wrong expectations… knowing it will cause us much trouble. But there is no need for this to be so. You can face the eternal, unchanging facts about your God (Mal. 3:6) and set your faith on the unshakable foundation that your God is love… no matter what you will see, hear or feel and by this your faith will be the victory that overcomes the world (visible realm).
In His Service
(excerpt from article ‘On Target… or… Sidetracked’ by M. Reins)