Nov 17 2013

Enwrapped in Love

_CES1488I try hard not to sound preachy on this site.  I’m sure there are times I do not succeed but since I am a preacher I guess one could expect that.  If today’s entry does sound preachy there’s a reason for it.  This was part of the message I preached at my church this morning.  The sermon was called “Can God Love Someone Like Me?”  I spoke of three places where we find evidence of God’s love for each of us—the Scriptures, Creation, and in Jesus’ sacrificial death on the Cross.  Below is the section on Creation:

_CES7636“In addition to the testimony and promises of the Bible, we might also note that the world is filled with signs of God’s love and acceptance.  All around us in God’s Creation are hints and evidence of God’s love for us and His desire for us to be full of joy.  These signs show us that God’s love surpasses what we can comprehend.  If we look at these signs closely and meditate upon them, not only will we find ourselves saying with the Psalmist, ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him?’ but we would also cry out, ‘How great thou art!’

Long ago Meister Eckhart said, ‘Every creature is a word of God and a book about God.’  I’m convinced he is right and that the subject of those books is love, God’s incredible love for you and me.   Another great Christian writer, Julian of Norwich, said ‘Everything is enwrapped in love and is part of a world produced not by mechanical necessity but by passionate desire.’  If only we had eyes to see we would recognize that we are surrounded by a beautiful world which is literally filled to the brim with the evidence of God’s love.  Everything—from the singing birds to the babbling brook, from the tiny acorn to the majestic oak, from the smallest flower to the tallest mountain—yes, everything that God has created reveals His love for us.”

_CES1364I wish more people realized just how much God loves them.  I say that because so many people do, in fact, wonder if this could possibly be true.  For me the evidence is overwhelming; God does indeed love each of us more than we could ever imagine.  That love is not based on our behavior at all.  It is instead a gift bestowed upon us because it is God’s nature to love.  You and I can love others but we can also choose not to love.  God, however, cannot not love us.  Why?  Because “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)  Furthermore, the apostle Paul declared “I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

_CES0629I am very grateful for God’s love.  We all should be.  I hope each day you will open yourself up to the unconditional love of God.  Julian of Norwich said “The greatest honor we can give to Almighty God is to live gladly because of the knowledge of his love.”  With that in mind I encourage you to embrace the love of God and live gladly.  Recognizing that we are lavishly loved by the Maker of heaven and earth, how could we not?

–Chuck

(I took all four of the images above over the past few days here in Henderson County, Kentucky.)