A Loving God

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By Dorothy Valcarcel, Christian Post Guest Contributor
December 19, 2009|3:33 pm

“This is the way God put it: They found grace out in the desert,… out looking for a place to rest (they) met God out looking for them! God told them, ‘I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again.”
Jeremiah 31: 2-5
The Message

EXPLORATION

“A Loving God”

“It is not after we were reconciled by the blood of His Son that God began to love us, but before the foundation of the world.”
John Calvin

How much “love” am I willing to give to others?

How much “love” am I open to receiving from God?

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“To stop God loving me would be to rob Him of His Godhead, for God is love no less than He is truth.”
Meister Eckhart

INSPIRATION

“And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, ‘Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin –; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which Thou hast written.”
Exodus 32: 31, 32
King James Version

When you read the above text from Exodus, you may be wondering if we’re going backwards in our studies. No, we aren’t. I just wanted to bring to all our remembrance this passage in Exodus as we look at Moses’ request from God in Deuteronomy 3: 23 – 26.

To me, this is an extremely painful interaction between God and His servant Moses. This is how Moses describes the situation: “I besought the Lord at that time, saying, ‘O Lord God, thou hast begun to shew Thy servant Thy greatness, and Thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to Thy works, and according to Thy might? I pray Thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the Lord was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the Lord said unto me, ‘Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter.’” (Deuteronomy 3: 23-26 K.J.V.)

Right on the banks of the Jordan River, just a few days and a few miles from the Promised Land, God denied Moses entrance into a land of promise, all because he lost his cool and in the wilderness, struck a rock when God had told him to speak to it. Pushed over the edge, beyond endurance, Moses’ patience with thousands of critical and grumpy people came to an end. From our human viewpoint in Deuteronomy 3, God closed the door on Moses – denying him what he had suffered 41 years to attain. I ask you, “Where’s God’s mercy, justice and love in this story?”

But before we think evil of God, I’d like to ask you this question. “Have you ever made a decision that others looked at with complete contempt, wondering whether you had any love in your heart?” I know there have been times in my own life when, from outside appearances, I made a decision which took years for others to recognize was made because of love. And this is what we find in the life of Moses.

Remember, Moses is the person who in Exodus, after the golden calf dancing debacle, offered to have his name blotted out of God’s book instead of the disobedient people. What kind of love was that? Would you tell God that He could take an ungrateful, unloving, unappreciative person to Heaven in place of you? Honestly, I am not certain I could have done what Moses did. But this is why God called Moses the most humble man on earth. His heart of love was opened and poured out for people who didn’t seem to care at all.

Jayne Hoose in Fruits of the Earth, describes the type of love demonstrated by Moses this way: “It is only when we regard others out of love that true humility follows. Love and humility are essential partners.”

Where did Moses develop this love that put others first? It was through his relationship with his Heavenly Father, who exhibited an unconditional love for all His children on this earth.

And so, when God told Moses that entering the Promised Land was not in his future, instead of saying, “God doesn’t love me,” Moses believed his Father had something better in store for him – and as we find out, God had an eternal Promised Land as a reward for His faithful servant, Moses.

Perhaps you have asked God for something you longed for – something you have worked for – and what you desire seems to be denied. Maybe you even have begun to wonder, “If God really loves me, why isn’t He helping me? Why won’t He let me into the ‘Promised Land’ I long for?”

If you and I will trust that our God has love enough to meet all our needs, like Moses, we too will be surprised by our loving Father, who has planned something greater for us than we can ever imagine – an ultimate gift from our loving God.

“Daughter, I have suffered many pains for thy love; therefore thou hast great cause to love Me right well, for I have bought thy love full dear.”
Margery Kempe

AFFIRMATION

Steadfast Love

“Gracious God,
for your love for us,
gentle as a shower,
healing our pain,
binding up our wounds,
we give you thanks.

For your love for us,
sure as the dawn,
transforming our darkness,
revealing your truth,
we give you thanks.

For your love for us,
mercifully steadfast,
calling us to you,
raising us up,
we give you thanks.

For your love for us,
encouraging questions,
open to our doubts,
making us vulnerable,
we give you thanks.

For your steadfast love
has brought us to faith,
Your steadfast love
has cradled a new creation.”

Kate McIlhagga, in
Encompassing Presence: Prayer Handbook 1993

Your friend

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Available May 2009
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

Dorothy Valcarcel has a 25-year career working with charitable organizations worldwide. Her experiences have taken her into ghettos, orphanages, domestic abuse shelters and food kitchens. The insight she gained, along with her own personal struggle to overcome challenging disabilities sustained in a life-threatening accident, are the catalyst for Transformation Garden - a website designed to encourage women in their walk with Jesus. Dorothy is the author of the soon to be released book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, published by Revell.
 

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