I write these God’s Hearts as the Holy Spirit leads me. I don’t have an agenda of topics chosen months in advance, I simply write in accord with the Lord’s leading. And these last few weeks I’ve been brought back to the central truth of God’s love for us and am compelled to pass that on.
It feels to me that the Lord wants to remind all of us that while we are working and serving alongside the Lord in His kingdom that we must not forget how much we are loved.
The heart of God’s love for us is beautifully expressed in Zephaniah 3:17,
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”
Just this one verse alone reveals a depth of the heart of our Lord in regards to each one of us.
1. God is in your midst
2. He is the mighty one who saves
3. He rejoices over you with gladness
4. He quiets you with his love
5. He exults and sings over you
Lets review these one by one.
1. ONE: God in our midst means that we are not alone. Though the weight of our work and of life itself may press down on us we can know that God is with us.
Immanuel means ‘God with us’ and is one of the names given to Jesus.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
God with us means that God is working through us. As we rest in the presence and work of Jesus Christ he works through us. We take comfort in this. The work is not all ours to do. Rather we enter into dependance on God and as we invite Jesus Christ into our lives we agree with Him and when we agree with the Lord life takes on new satisfaction.
2. TWO: The mighty one who saves indicates a continuous present tense. God has saved us. God is saving us. God will save us. We experience the truth and presence of God in our past, present, and future.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5
The love of Father God foreknew us and prepared a way for us. Jesus Christ his Son entered into our present tense and died a sinless death so that you and I might live. Our Holy Spirit remains with us leading and guiding us each and every day.
This work of God never ends. It goes on in our lives and in the lives of every human being on planet earth. God is continually drawing all people unto himself in love and kindness and understanding. This we can count on. This we rest in.
No longer do we need to force God upon each other. No longer must we micro-manage those around us. No longer must we fear. God is active in all our lives even when we cannot perceive Him.
Because of this we can come to a place of greater understanding alongside our fellow human beings. We are released to just be people alongside people for Jesus is the one working in all our lives.
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
3. THREE: He rejoices over you with gladness
God’s heart over us works to dispel the lies and condemnations within us. Remember the utter joy of a child born to you? This is the same joy (but bigger yet) that God experiences in regards to you each and every minute of every day.
I ask: How might His joy about you change how you view yourself, God, and this life you are living?
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17
“Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.” Psalm 16:19
Life alongside God brings us to deeper understanding of our lives. We realize that there is another reality to living than just this earthly experience and our earthly struggles.
We learn alongside God that even though there are difficulties God is in the midst.
4. FOUR: He quiets us with His love is the exact result of God in our midst.
We cannot stay stressed when we are aware of the presence of God. In His presence our anxiety, our worry, our concerns fall to the side. We are quieted in our inner person.
“For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.” Psalm 33:21
“He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.” Psalm 107:29
While we make our plans and do the work of our lives it takes on a new ease as we allow the Lord’s quieting over us. We do the same work but our hearts don’t worry the same. We carry on the same tasks but we are more relaxed and okay with God’s leading. We do not rush to control or fix things like we once did. God quiets us and we enter into His rest.
5. FIVE: He exults and sings over you and he exults and sings over each one.
In this love of the Lord we realize that he loves everyone to the same extent that he loves us. And as we realize this we begin to take greater care with those around us. We realize that we must treat others as the great loves of God that they are.
As we experience God’s love and exulting and singing over us we bring this same spirit and manner over others. We learn too to rejoice in our fellow human beings. We begin to see the beauty of mankind all around us.
God’s singing over us changes how we perceive each other. We, all of us, every single person, is precious to God, and we dare not use and abuse them. It is God’s love that alerts us to this.
“And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you,” 1 Thessalonians 3:12
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35
We are reminded today that though we work to understand God more, though we work to bring justice where there is injustice, though we work to teach and guide and lead those depending on us, though we strive to accomplish much good in the countries in which we live, we remember that love and our manner alongside God and others is the most important thing of all.
We remember that how we treat each other matters first and foremost. We remember that God loves us with a deep and abiding love and we are reminded to slow down, to take notice of our fellow human beings, to acknowledge each other in kindness and understanding.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 3:1-13