PARADOXICAL

The faith chronicles

Friday, August 04, 2006

 

God's love 101


"Everywhere I go I see you," goes a song by Michael Smith in Exodus, an album by various artists who wear their Christianity on their sleeves. These simple words capture what I have felt especially during the honeymoon period after the baptism in the Spirit. There has been this intense awareness that God is everywhere, especially in the beauty of creation. God is everywhere, even in the most seemingly uneventful moments of life. Amazingly, when I reviewed the past events of my life, whose hands do I see directing but God's as well? God has long been with me even if I didn't recognize Him. Looking back with the viewpoint and wisdom gained in six years, I can see God even in the worst adversities I have ever weathered.

The feeling is better experienced first-hand than described in words. Truly God turns everything good to those who follow Him. Can you blame me?

Let's take a good look at how Love defines Himself.

Who hasn't heard the following passage?

"I may be able to speak the languages of men and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains - but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned - but if have no love, this does me no good.

"Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail...

"...Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope and love; and the greatest of these is love." (I Cor13:1-7)


Now, who hasn't heard the following exercise?

Replace the word "love" in verses 4 through 7 with your own name. Does it sound close to the truth? Be honest. See how you end up bowing your head in shame - only to lift it up to God and bow again - this time on your knees, in worship.

At this point, we can only respond with a song.

"Who is Like Thee?"

"So good, so kind
So merciful, so just
So pure, so righteous
So with us.

So wise, so faithful
So full of grace
So steadfast, so loving is the Lord.

Who is like Thee?
Who is like Thee, O Lord?"

I know someone who does the singing of praise one notch higher. She actually does it like a coloratura. Imagine a prayer assembly with the Vienna Boys Choir, the great tenors, Dame Kiri Te Kenawa and an accompanying orchestra.

9.2000


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