Posts Tagged ‘1 Corinthians 13:13’

Just how much God loves me

May 13, 2014

1 John 2-15-17

To be sure, there are times when we pray, and our Father answers in a clear, direct manner that leaves no doubt that God heard our prayer. Many times the answer comes directly from the Word of God which is delivered to a congregation, but upon listening intently, the message seems custom-crafted to fulfill a prayer request that we have uttered individually. Such was the case a week ago when I heard a message by Minister Ulysses Vargas, who delivered a message during the Tuesday evening “Hour of Power” at Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC. The inspired teaching from 1 John 2:15-16 was designed to help the congregation “to understand just how much God loves you.” For me it was an answer to prayer.

As an adjunct professor at Carolina College of Biblical Studies, many times I will begin my classes with a short devotional which ends with a word of prayer, as I ask God to widen our comprehension that we might know more fully just how much God loves us. After reviewing my notes and reflecting upon the message by Minster Vargas, I realized that God answered that prayer, and I was inspired to compose this poem in response:

“. . . Just how much you love me.”

 1 John 2:15-16

 

Father, expand my mind and widen my comprehension

To recognize your ways to an even greater dimension.

As I call upon your name and bow in humility,

Help me to understand just how much you love me.

Enlighten my eyes with the wisdom that comes from above.

You call me beloved, one worthy of your endless love.

When I am tempted, knowing that you love me dispels all fear.

As I seek to please you, open my ears that I might hear

Your word and endeavor to hide it deep within my heart.

Despite past failures, misdeeds, and shortcomings on my part,

Your love is constant and never changes but ever grows,

Unfolding in matchless beauty as a dew-kissed rose.

You say do not love worldly things or pleasures that they bring.

You show me God’s love is to be prized more than anything.

God desires that each individual believer might know Him and experience His unconditional love, that is, to have a personal knowledge of who He is, to know Him.This kind of knowing corresponds to the Greek word ginosko, translated “to know” in the New Testament.  Biblical scholar E.W. Bullinger in his Critical Greek Concordance and Lexicon translates the verb:

To perceive, observe, obtain knowledge of or insight into.  It denotes a personal and true relationship between the person knowing and the object known, i.e. to be influenced by one’s knowledge of the object, to suffer one’s self to be determined thereby.

God desires that we know him, as He expresses His deep desire for intimacy on a very personal level. We come to know God through the Word of God which makes known the love of God. As we establish and maintain our relationship with Him, we also experience the love of God, the most powerful force in the universe. Once an individual knows God on such an intimate, experiential level, that person “knows for himself or herself,” and that individual is forever changed.

As the days of our lives unfold, we have come to recognize that God’s love still prevails—the love of God, the highest form of love, called agape, never fails. As 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us:

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

The chapter presenting the greatest definition of the love of God closes with this reminder:

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (New Living Translation)

As Minister Vargas reminded us, God desires that we know just how much he loves us.

Richard Smallwood and Vision offer a stirring rendition of “Oh, How He Loves You and Me”:

On the day after Valentine’s Day, love still prevails

February 15, 2014

1-John-4-10

On the day after Valentine’s Day, the Verse of the Day for February 15, 2014 continues to focus on love:

1 John 4:10 KJV

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The lyrics to the popular love song “My Funny Valentine” express the following profound yet simple truth:

Stay, funny Valentine, stay.

Each day is Valentine’s Day.

1-corinthians-13 7-8

And so on the day after Valentine’s Day, love still prevails—the love of God, the highest form of love, called agape, never fails. As 1 Corinthians 13 reminds us:

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

The chapter presenting the greatest definition of the love of God closes with this reminder:

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. (New Living Translation)

A previous blog entry on love closed with the Jim Brinkman song performed by Amy Sky: “Love Never Fails.” On the day after Valentine’s Day, the message bears repeating: