A 14 Day Meditation on the Love of God
God’s Love is With Us Forever
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.—Psalm 9:1–2
Scripture Reading Romans 8:31-38
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
When you are concerned, where do you find your strength? The source of strength you lean upon is the true object of your faith.
All people have faith–that is, there is something in their lives they lean upon. Some are egotists–they lean upon their own personal strength. Unfortunately, the troubles of this world are often larger than ourselves, and self-confidence is not enough to see us through them.
Some people are loyalists–they put their faith in being part of a larger community which they think will support them. That organization may be a government, a church, a family, or the general goodness of humanity. Unfortunately, people are not good, and so our human institutions eventually fail. If people are sinners individually, we remain, sinners, even when we are in groups. We may be loyal to our institution or team, but institutions are seldom loyal to us.
Other people are idealists. They put their faith in a creed, doctrine, or theory. Idealists have differing ideals such as Communism Calvinism, Literterianism, Lutheranism, or capitalism. But our theories of government and religion were all developed by people like ourselves–sinful human beings. Even when we believe our structure of belief to be right, it was still formulated and expressed by people who are wrong, and therefore cannot ever be completely right.
So if egotism, loyalism, and idealism fail us, in who or what can we trust.
We trust in God. In Romans, we have a rock-steady promised based in His love, that He will never stop loving us. no matter how messed up our lives, get, He never gives upon us.
Today lets celebrate His love that goes on forever
ohn Newton is best known today as the writer of Amazing Grace, but there is so much more to his story than that. He was a sailor, slave, slave trader, and finally an Anglican priest who fought for the abolition of slavery. In his long life, he was the enslaver of some, the savior of many and the counselor and advisor to many more.
Newton went to sea at the age of eleven with his father, served on six voyages, and returned home in 1742. The next year while visiting friends, he was shanghaied by a press gang and forced to return to sea aboard the HMS Harwich. When he tried to desert, he was publicly flawed before the entire crew. This made him a pariah in the eyes of the officers and crew. He was transferred to the Pegasus, a slave ship bound for west Africa. The crew left him in West Africa with Amos Clowe, a slave trader, who treated him as one of the slaves. Newton described his position under Clowe as being “a servant of slaves.”
He was rescued from his servitude in 1748 and continued to serve as a sailor. That same year, he experienced a religious conversion of sorts in a gale off the Irish coast. He continued for some years to work in the slave trade, eventually rising to captain his own ship. After suffering a stroke, he gave up the sea in 1754. It was at this time that Newton had what he considered to be his true conversion. He studied for the Anglican priesthood and was ordained in 1757.
Newton’s conversion to abolitionism came on him gradually, as he saw that slavery was incompatible with Christianity. It was not until the 1780’s that Newton began actively writing and preaching against the slave trade, based on his own experiences. He had a great influence on William Wilberforce, who spearheaded the abolition of slavery in Great Britain by the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.
Among his famous quotes
“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” …
“Although my memory’s fading, I remember two things very clearly: I am a great sinner and Christ is a great Savior.”
Listen to some music you really enjoy. It does not have to be Christian or spiritual, just music. Recognize the gift of hearing. Of all creations, only God can appreciate music. Give thanks to God for the gift of hearing and the mind to appreciate the beauty of it. Recognize the next time you listen to music–any music–that it I only the gift of God’s image in us that can cause us to appreate it.
Closing Worship Songs
We thank you, O God, that there is not nook or cranny in our existence that your knowledge does not penetrate; not one moment of our lives that your wisdom has not see, and not one thought or feeling in our heart that your empathy does not share. Even so, you love us and accept us as we are, and seek to bring all our thoughts, feelings, and actions in line with you. Let us submit to your hand, and are ready and willing to be remade, in Jesus name, Amen.
“Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Hebrews 13: 20-21 (ESV)