GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START IN 2014

Breakfast Club — January 1, 2014  — Douglas Van Devender 

 As religions invariably do, Christianity has accumulated a hoard of externals.

The service of these externals has produced a host of young David’s clunking their way into battle in Saul’s armor. God’s did not intend this for his People. He has something in mind for us more dynamic – more flexible – more potent – more appealing.

Before anything was, before the initial Word was spoken, before light was separated from darkness, God had already conceived of us in his heart. In a sense, he already knew us.

Long before your parents provided the means for your physical conception, He was anticipating the very day He would bring you forth to walk the earth.

Long before the foundation of the earth, He yearned for the day when you would come to know Him as he has always known you.

There is a story here; a story that needs to be told. A story so grand you couldn’t imagine it unless you heard it. A story of cosmic intention. A story of infinite love. A story of The Lover — as King Solomon would call Him — creating The Beloved to be the unique receptor of his love.

Against the backdrop of all creation, across the sweep of all of human history, The Lover pursues his Beloved with purity and purpose and passion. He woos her until she lifts her eyes to see him; until she knows him, and responds to his relentless, lavish love; until she worships Him from the depths of her heart.

Now this is where we enter the story. As I’ve already said, we are not random; we are made for this.

From before the beginning of forever, the Lover’s deepest desire was to include us – to include you — among his Beloved. The Lover comes to us with the proposal of relationship. A proposal to be loved and to love in return.

Consider this! Consider what it means to be called into relationship with the One who made us! Relationship of divine love within which we are set free from slavery to the corruption of this fallen world. Relationship of love within which we are liberated from the suffocating strictures of human religion. Relationship of love within which we discover who we really are. Relationship of love within which his Spirit chooses us as his habitation.

The Lover comes to us to replace the old with the new. And as he does, He fills us with hope, and faith and purpose. He gives us joy and peace for constant companions.  He pours out his Life upon us until we realize He is our life.

The Lover is generous and able. He does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He forgives our sin. He breaks the power of darkness. He rescues us from death. He fills us with his mind and his heart. He endows us with his character and nature. He arms us with his strength and his competencies.

Those of us who have accepted The Lover’s proposal to unite ourselves to Him in eternal relationship are coming to know and love and worship and welcome Him with ever increasing intimacy and confidence. As He draws us ever deeper into his embrace, we are becoming secure in the certainty that this relationship will outlast time and space.  For as it is written:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness

of his Son… What shall we say in response to this? …I am convinced that neither

death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future,

nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will

be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:29 and following)

I wish you a Happy New Year!

I wish for you all the blessings that God prepared for you before the creation of the world. I wish for you the fullest experience of the One who loves you and desires for you above all else in 2014 to know and love and worship Him with all your heart.

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