Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Heart (1) God’s Heart of Love

by Anne Lawrence

‘You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes.’
Song of Songs 4:9, NIV

I don’t know what you think about the word ‘love’. Do you think of romantic novels, or of unrequited love, or is it a word you can’t bear to think of? It was Valentine’s Day last month, and in Britain the tradition is to send a card or a gift to someone you ‘love’ secretly, without telling them who’s sending it. There’s adventure in this, a lot of expectation… and also dashed hopes.

Why do men and women around the country secretly hope for something to arrive unexpectedly on that day? Well, it means that you’re special, chosen, picked out from the crowd, and noticed. We all want to be like that.

It got me thinking. That’s how the Lord is with us. He’s picked us out of the crowd. He’s noticed us. He’s chosen us. He also waits for us to pick Him; to tell Him that we’re giving ourselves to Him and Him alone.

He uses language towards us like a lover or a husband. He’s jealous for us and won’t share us. Even though we don’t deserve it – He woos us tenderly, and calls us back.

An example of this is the passage in Hosea 2:14-23. It’s about the people of Israel, but it shows the Lord’s heart towards His people. Hosea was told to marry a harlot, to represent God’s relationship with Israel – but it’s like ours with Him. They went off with foreign gods. We put other things as a priority over God – even serving Him can become more important than Him Himself. But He woos us – patiently, lovingly – despite ourselves.

He says to us, ‘You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes’ (Song of Songs 4:9). We’re all His bride – not just the women, but the men also. We’ve all been picked by Him out of the crowd, and He wants us for himself. He asks us to …‘Place me as a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave’ (Song of Songs 8:6). He’s serious about us.

So His heart is FOR us. Going back to the Valentine’s Day scenario; none of us has been overlooked on any day of the year. There’s One who longs for us – every day of the year. He longs for intimacy with us, longs for our devotion, our undivided adoration and submission to Him, and love.

Can we choose to respond again to that call today; to respond to His heart of love for us?

Prayer: Oh Lord, thank You for Your strong, faithful, compassionate, tender love for me. I’m overwhelmed, and yet I struggle to really know it. Please reveal that to me in a deeper way today. I want to respond to You and surrender my all to You. Help me, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Anne Lawrence joined the team at Ellel Grange in 2010 and is the Deputy Centre Director. She is married to Paul, Centre Director. Anne previously worked in education. Her last post was CEO of a College in Dublin. She has written courses, syllabi and a book for the English for Work series published by Longman. She has a heart for the broken and a passion to see people set free and released into more of what the Lord has for them. She loves to teach, listen, worship and create things.

 

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