*PLEASE take the time to listen to today’s song, “Oh how I love Jesus!” It will bless your life!
Ephesians 1:3-6 (NRSV)
Blessed be God, who chose us in Christ
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
Oh my Lord and my God! How I love you!
Today’s Bible passage reminds us that as God hung the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, God was thinking of us. As God shaped the mountains, valley, and seas, God was anticipating our arrival. As God crafted the fish, fowl, beasts, and birds, God was looking forward to our existence! Finally, as God sat and crafted wo/man in God’s own image, God cradled us near to God’s heart as God gifted us with the breath of life!
Isn’t that amazing! But, let me tell you what is even more amazing—Even as God was creating us, God knew that we would sin and fall short of God’s glory. God knew that we would rebel and thus separate ourselves from our Creator, Sustainer, and Friend. But, God was not anxious, nor was God worried.
From the foundation of the world, God had a plan to bless us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, make us holy and blameless before God in love, and to adopt us--making us God’s own sons and daughters!
WOW! What awesome GOOD NEWS and it seems to me that our hearts’ natural response to this GOOD NEWS is to praise God’s glorious grace which has been freely bestowed upon us in Christ Jesus!
From time to time people ask me, “How do I know that God loves me?” My answer is always the same, “Look into the face of JESUS!” God loves us so much that God gave us Jesus! Jesus walked and talked with us, healed and fed us, and then went to an old rugged cross to die a gory and gruesome death, all in order to make it possible for God to sign our adoption certificates!
Doesn’t that just take your breath away?!
But, guess what? That is not all of today’s GOOD NEWS; there is more! Today’s scripture goes on to say that God did all of this for us “according to God’s good pleasure!” When we pray, “THANK YOU for Jesus”, God’s response is always, “My pleasure!”
There is no one who has ever—or will ever--love us more than God! You can cross the seas, scale the mountains, hike the deserts, look in the bars and clubs and internet chat rooms and you WILL NEVER, EVER, find anyone to love you the way God has loved us in Christ Jesus!
My friends, this kind of love will never give up, never say die, never throw in the towel, and never walk away. Even if you ASK God to leave you alone, God will not—and cannot—do it! God made you, knows you, and loves you. God knows the deepest longing in your heart to be unconditionally loved just for being you and so God will never let you go!
Today, God’s arms are outstretched to you in love! Run into those arms my friend, lay your head upon God’s shoulder, and trust that your Heavenly Parent is more than able and willing to take care of you no matter what may come in the days ahead…
Will you make time today to climb up into God’s lap and snuggle into God’s arms?
Loving God, you are amazing. My heart and soul cry out in astonishment that you love me so! I have never been loved like this…it takes my breath away! Please embolden me to help others to become aware of your great love for them. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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COMING SOON: The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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From Pastor Yolanda’s blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com/