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21 Days of the Spirit: Day 2

02 May

Pour Some Love on Me

Romans 5:5 says “and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” In various places the Bible links together faith, hope and love. These virtues seem to go together. They interrelate with each other. Hope seems to get left out of the discussion often times. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:13). Love is the greatest and faith is the first, but hope is that unfortunate middle child. Why do we need hope if we have faith and love? Hope is not a fanciful wish—an unsubstantiated longing that may or may not be fulfilled. Rather hope is an expectation that God will continue to be who he has shown himself to be and to do what he has promised to do. And Romans 5:5 gives us insight into the relationship between hope (expectation) and love. Hope is made sure by love…love gives substance to the unsubstantiated wish. Biblical hope is held up by love. We place our hope, our future expectation, in God because we know that he loves us.

I cannot say that I have been in a place where I haven’t felt loved. I have always felt loved in my marriage. Growing up as a child, I always felt love. I may have questioned whether or not I was loved during adolescence, but those questions were put to rest when Jesus came into my life at age 15. I remember questioning not such much whether or not I was loved, but whether or not I “fit in” – a typical adolescent feeling. After I came to Christ, I heard the DeGarmo & Key Song, “I’m Accepted.” That made it all clear—God really did love me. Here are the lyrics:

I’m Accepted
Eddie DeGarmo & Danny Key
1989 DKB Music

I may not be rich.
Don’t wear fashion clothes.
Don’t live in a mansion.
Don’t have much that shows.
Never won a contest in popularity.
Don’t have much to offer
But Jesus still loves me.

Chorus:
I’m accepted, accepted.
I’m accepted by the one who matters most.

Never set a record in sports agility.
Never was magnetic in personality.
That don’t really matter, I’ll do the best I can.
Cause there’s a God above me who loves me like I am.

If you think you’re a loser…
When you fail, it seems, at everything you do.
Just remember there’s a Savior…
And you are worth enough He gave His life for You!

This is a love and a “loyalty that’s deeper than mere sentiment” (Rich Mullins). It is more than an emotional reaction. It is a love that is experiential—a love that is ontological (relating to or based upon being or existence). The Holy Spirit pours out God’s love into our hearts in a very real way. And this is a different kind of love—a turn the other cheek—give away my shirt—go the extra mile— kind of love. My attempt at love is always mixed with self. No matter how pure I try to exercise it—my kind of love is always tainted with self. God help me!

My prayer today is from Rich Mullins’ song “If I Stand” since I am in a classic Christian music mode today.

THERE’S MORE THAT RISES IN THE MORNING THAN THE SUN
MORE THAT SHINES IN THE NIGHT THAN JUST THE MOON THERE’S
MORE THAN JUST THIS FIRE HERE THAT KEEPS ME WARM IN A SHELTER
THAT IS LARGER THAN THIS ROOM

THERE’S A LOYALTY THAT’S DEEPER THAN MERE SENTIMENT
MUSIC HIGHER THAN THE SONGS THAT I CAN SING
THE STUFF OF EARTH COMPETES FOR THE ALLEGIANCE
I OWE ONLY TO THE GIVER OF ALL GOOD THINGS

THERE’S MORE THAT DANCES ON THE PRAIRIES THAN THE WIND
MORE THAT PULSES IN THE OCEAN THAN THE TIDE
THERE’S A LOVE THAT IS FIERCER THAN THE LOVE BETWEEN FRIENDS
MORE GENTLY THAN A MOTHER’S WHEN HER BABY’S AT HER SIDE

SO IF I STAND LET ME STAND ON THE PROMISE
THAT YOU WILL PULL ME THROUGH
AND IF I CAN’T LET ME FALL ON THE GRACE
THAT FIRST BROUGHT ME TO YOU IF I SING LET ME SING FOR THE JOY
THAT HAS BORN IN ME THESE SONGS
BUT IF I WEEP LET IT BE AS A MAN
WHO IS LONGING FOR HIS HOME

Rich Mullins
1955-1997

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Posted by on May 2, 2006 in Theology

 

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