You've Got Mail
What if Jesus wrote you a love letter?
Would you treasure it? Would you keep it close by? Would you read it and reread it? He has written you a love letter, you know. Of course, I'm talking about the Bible. It reveals God's heart for us.
For God so loved...
Abide in My love.
[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God.
He first loved us.*
Too often, though, we don't view Scripture as a love letter. In fact, this book you're holding was inspired by just that thought - that we as imperfect people generally focus on the "corrections and disciplines" of Scripture rather than on what is revealed of God's heart.
And His love is evident everywhere in His Word!
From the paradise He originally created for humankind in Genesis, to the redemption of Jesus Christ on the cross, to the home He is preparing for us in Revelation, the fact is
He loves us!
The New Testament doesn't tell us whether the apostle Paul was ever married or not. Whatever the case may be, he understood that marriage was to parallel the love Jesus has for His church. Paul describes the relationship of a committed couple with tenderness and beauty.** He writes that husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and that wives are to yield to their husbands just as the Church yields to Christ. It's a relationship based completely on love and sacrifice. As such, it harms no one but builds everyone. It is the same kind of relationship that Jesus desires to have with us. That may sound scary to some, but look at how God defines love:
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut,
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.***
Make no mistake, 1 Corinthians 13 isn't just a nice chapter to read at weddings. It's not just a sappy, unrealistic fairy tale. It's not Don Quixote singing "The Impossible Dream." This is how God commits to us.
Can I say that again? This is how God commits to us.
...Love sees potential
...Love desires the best for the beloved
When we talk about Jesus love for us, we have to have our minds transformed to look at love by His definition.
Giving. Pursuing. Longing. Wooing. Staying.
Jesus isn't "in this" for what He can get out of us. He wants to pour His love on us; He longs to bring us into relationship with Him. We are His beloved! So let me ask again...
What if Jesus wrote you a love letter?
As we go through this book, I want you to look at seven love letters He has written to His church...His bride - us. The letters to the churches in Revelation, I believe, are love letters to us, the Bride, to prepare us for the coming of the Bridegroom. "Revelation" literally means "unveiling"; and John describes his vision as the "revelation of Jesus Christ." While many use the book of Revelation to speculate about end times, it is intended to unveil Jesus to us in a new way - as our Bridgroom. The book ends with Jesus coming for His Bride, and with the marriage supper of the Lamb. So it only seems logical that the book would begin with love letters and an invitation to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom.
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.****
* John 3:16; John 15:10; Romans 8:39; 1 John 4:19.
**See Ephesians 5:22-23.
*** 1 Cornthians 13:3-7, THE MESSAGE.
**** Song of Songs 2:10.
From 7 Love Letters from Jesus: Pursued by His Love, Captured by His Grace copyright 2012 Rebecca Hayford Bauer. All rights reserved. Published by Regal from Gospel Light, Ventura, California. Used by permission.
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