Posted by: dhkrause | October 25, 2015

Knowing God’s Love

The greatest demonstration of God’s love for the world is declared in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Describing the significance of this sacrifice, Paul states in Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” The Bible teaches that God wants us to not just know of His love, but to know His love experientially in our lives. This was the essence of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:

Ephesians 3 (NKJV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

God knew you and loved you before you were born:

Ephesians 1
4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

Psalm 139
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You.

God hears you when you call out to Him. This is a first step in coming to know His great love for you.

Psalm 77
I cried out to God with my voice—
To God with my voice;
And He gave ear to me.

Psalm 96 describes giving to the Lord “glory and strength”, and worshiping Him in the beauty of holiness:

Psalm 96
7 Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength.
8 Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
Bring an offering, and come into His courts.
9 Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Tremble before Him, all the earth.

The Song of Solomon can be understood as an allegory of God’s passionate and personal love for the believer who loves Him in this way.  It describes a heartfelt giving of oneself to another, the type of relationship God invites each of us to have with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus sees each person whose heart is fully turned to him as someone specially beautiful, with the light of His love shining through their eyes. This is depicted poetically in verse 15 of chapter 1:

Song of Solomon 1
The Beloved:
15 Behold, you are fair, my love!
Behold, you are fair!
You have dove’s eyes.

The deep love of God causes us to delight in sharing His love with others, inviting them to enter into it too:

Song of Solomon 2
The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem:
He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

The deep and personal passion of God’s love toward those who give themselves unreservedly to Him is poetically expressed through these verses in chapter 4:

Song of Solomon 4
The Bridegroom Praises the Bride
The Beloved:
You have ravished my heart,
My sister, my spouse;
You have ravished my heart
With one look of your eyes,
With one link of your necklace.
10 How fair is your love,
My sister, my spouse!
How much better than wine is your love,
And the scent of your perfumes
Than all spices!

The glorious intensity of the pure love of the believer in response to the personal love of the Lord is depicted in verses 6 and 7 of chapter 8:

Song of Solomon 8
The Shulamite to Her Beloved:
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a seal upon your arm;
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy as cruel as the grave;
Its flames are flames of fire,
A most vehement flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor can the floods drown it.
If a man would give for love
All the wealth of his house,
It would be utterly despised.

God is eager to show He “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” as we respond to His love (Ephesians 3:20). What He has prepared for those who love him far exceeds all that we can ask or think, causing us to rejoice with “joy inexpressible and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

 David Krause,,10/25/2015

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