January 2, 2017

Four Ways Christ Loves Us (Part 1 of 2)

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 2, 2017

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

The Lord’s love is much, much more substantive than a shallow sentimental emotion or a feel good moment—His love reaches into the depths of our sorrows to comfort and to the heights of our happiness to celebrate our joy. The Lord’s love cares, corrals, chastens, comforts, challenges, calms and brings clarity out of confusion. Unconditional, unconventional and unyielding—rarely early, never late, but always timely is the application of His vast reservoir of everlasting love. What are some ways the Lord loves His children? We can start with these two Biblical images:

An Artist’s Love for Their Art
“He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel” (Jeremiah 18:6).

Like a Michaelangelo block of marble—yet to be finished, we are a masterpiece in the making in our Maker’s eyes. Rough around the edges, accented by beautiful glimpses of God’s glory, with unrecognizable, unhewn areas—we are a work in progress, but beautiful in our Beloved’s eyes. A sculpture of grace is not without suffering to smooth out sinful habits, relational tensions to grow our trust in God to forgive, and answered prayer to expose the highlights of heaven’s imprints—all the while bringing clarity to our growing likeness of Christ. He is not finished with us—so by faith, we patiently submit to the Potter’s hand, who molds us into His magnificent creation. Our heavenly Father’s love is the artistic license that allows pain to qualify us for transformation.

A Shepherd’s Love for Their Sheep
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).

Ever aware of where his sheep are located—close by, watching curiously from the edge of the herd or aimlessly wandering away—the sensitive shepherd seeks to lead his charges to what’s best for them—though they are sometimes obstinate in their determination to do their own thing. In the same way our loving Shepherd looks out for us with His provision of rest, quiet contemplation of His majestic creation, and His life-giving soul refreshment. When we stray—He comes after us with loving discipline, when we wander toward the edge of disobedience—He reminds us of why love obeys, and when we remain close by—He rewards us with the joy and peace of His presence. The great love of our great Shepherd radically and relentlessly protects and provides for His sheep.

“Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David” (Isaiah 55:3).

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I rest in and trust in Your everlasting love for me.

Application

How can I accept and apply God’s love for me in the unlovely places of my life?

Related Reading

1 Kings 22:17; Isaiah 29:16; Romans 9:21; Hebrews 13:20

Post/Tweet today

When we remain close to Christ—He rewards us with the joy and peace of His presence. #God’sloveforus #WisdomHunters

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