Today my pastor (Pastor Tom Holliday) said that “God speaks to us in a lullaby” meaning that He draws near to us with abounding grace, forgiveness and such generous love that we almost can’t fathom it with our mortal hearts. It was such a tender sermon on John 3:16-21. My heart is so full this evening. I feel the lullaby. I am aware that these are not easy days for many people, for many readers. We can be encouraged by listening for the hope that comes from Our Lord Jesus Christ. When I speak of Love – ever, I am speaking of Christ, of His Spirit and of His Father, God.
The lullaby come dear to us
Softly, sweetly as life’s hush,
Like the stream that runs at dawn
With waters new to fill a song.
Times can burden, trials restrict
Wandering through this haze conflicts.
Yet here we find such miracle of-
In the midst of all, God’s Love, God’s Love.
His Lullaby, the softness tones,
Whispers “Here, Here is home”.
And we wrap our hearts around, around
This music, oh – such sweetened sound.
© 2019 Linda Willows
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 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.
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.”
I found this “old poem”, that I wrote in 2012 and actually hid it. Maybe I was not ready for it. I just changed it from being about me to Us to because a few weeks ago my pastor said in a sermon, that “our lives are not about ourselves”. That stayed with me.
This little poem speaks of the life-journey. We can be hearts that are challenged throughout life, yet ones that rise above and are lifted – loved through the seasons of all- brought to the Throne of the Beloved. (Linda Willows)
We are the hearts that beat until
there is no other silenced will,
in places that would rather be stilled-
We challenge yet to feel and spill.
Dare us not to fall away.
Dare our souls to rise this day,
wrapping each our own fate’s stay
with love that Keeps, that binds our way.
When the season comes to find us home,
soften us, Lord, by brine, we have roamed;
lived from within each corner of the Stone
loved, drawn, by the light of your Throne.
And due will be the Glory of
such mighty freedom from Above.
Our hearts will find their dear Beloved,
there will be with the deepest Love.
©2012 Linda Willows, © 2019 Linda Willows
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Led Forward by Love (Waiting for The Lord), from L.Willows
Belief is a wondrous act of our hearts and minds. It can lead us forward; give us hope, it can even reveal what we long for most deeply. When we search with the eyes of our soul and look upward to the One that calls us to Himself we see God. We are led forward by Love. I trust that. We all can. It is a promise to us.
In Greek, the root word from which we get ‘faith, the noun is PISTIS, and ‘BELIEVE‘, the verb is PISTUEO. FAITH – PISTIS means faith, belief, firm persuasion, assurance, firm conviction, faithfulness. BELIEVE – PISTUEO – to trust in and rely upon, commit to the charge of, confide in, have a mental persuasion.
We place our trust in what we wait upon.
When we wait for the Lord in this way, we are employing our belief in God with complete trust. Waiting compels us to learn to trust God. Trusting and relying completely upon God is the opposite of depending on the assurances of ‘this world’. It is putting full confidence in the Presence of God.
We sometimes revert back to a belief in our aloneness. Disappointments, sometimes the mere witness of world events can be enough to wonder if God is present. But we are never alone.
God is always with us.
We soar when we wait on The Lord.
Waiting on the Lord can mean many things. In this passage, it can mean to put our hope in the Lord. Sometimes it means to cast our weighty burdens upon the Lord who promises to answer when we call.
“Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear.” Isaiah 64:24
We can go to God for Hope. He promises to LIFT us up.
We can become weary in life but we can always go to God. He never fails us. He will receive our burdens. He will lift us up. God sees our hearts all the time. When our hearts are seen and known by Love, we respond in Love as Beloveds. Our cares are lifted into His own Heart as we are.
The wondrous part about trusting God is that His answers do not fail us. Our lives are lifted into His faithful Shepherding. The walk shifts. We are not alone. We never were. Serving the Lord means putting Him first, at the forefront. We follow Love.
The Lord Leads Us Forward
He becomes the Shepherd of our lives. He leads us into Green Pastures. He restores our Souls. When we see Him and are led forward by Love, are hearts lift, we know true joy and our hearts are filled with a longing to share what has been given.
We serve the Hope, which is His Presence. When we wait upon the Lord, our hearts soar. Our lives are lifted. We are led forward by Love.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:7–8).
God is Love from R.C. Sproul
As we have made our way through John’s first epistle, it has become clearer that assurance is the result of a constant interplay between external evidences and internal testimony. If we keep the commandments of Christ, we know that we abide in Him, yet we know that we abide in Christ because of the work of the Spirit (1 John 3:24). The Holy Spirit does indeed assure us that we belong to Jesus, but He never operates apart from the outward evidences of faith. The authentic presence of the Spirit is discerned both by His internal testimony and by our obedience to the commands of Jesus given through His apostles (4:6).
For the past few days we have studied one of these commands, namely, belief in the name of the Son (3:23; 4:1–5). Today we look at the second command found in 3:23 — love for one another.
Again John states that love is a fundamental mark of the one who has authentic faith. If the one who loves has been born of God and knows God (4:7), then the one who does not love has neither been born of God, nor does he know God. “God is love” (v. 8), that is, love is essential to God’s nature.
If we truly have become partakers of this nature (2 Peter 1:4) and increasingly reflect God’s holy and loving character, then we have no choice but to love other people, especially fellow believers. Our transformed hearts will inevitably respond to God’s call that we love others as He loves us. We will endeavor to love if we have been born of God, and we will repent when we find ourselves not loving as He has commanded.
The biblical definition of God’s love is more radical than we often imagine. The proto-Gnostics troubling John’s original audience would have thought it made God too personal.
Today many affirm the truth “God is love” but live as if the Bible did not demand us to love even the most unlovable (Luke 6:32–36).
Others recoil at the fact God reserves a special, salvific love for His people alone (Rom. 9:13). Yet if we are truly to reflect God’s character, with self-sacrifice we must love Christ’s people and strive to show love even to those “unworthy” of it both inside and outside the church.
When we say “God is love” we must never think His love is more important than His other attributes. The doctrine of God’s simplicity tells us God’s love never operates apart from His holiness, mercy, justice, omnipotence, omniscience, or any other attribute. This tells us it is loving to seek justice and demand holiness, though we never do so at the expense of mercy. Ask the Lord to help you learn how to apply His love to every situation you face.