Jesus’ Love For All

He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, . . . where they crucified Him. —John 19:17-18

It was a bit unusual, but three times in one day I heard the same song. In the early afternoon, I attended a hymnsing at a home for the elderly. As part of her prayer at the end of our time together, Willie, one of the residents, said, “Sing with me, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’” In the evening, I attended a gathering with young people who sang it while pounding out the beat with their hands and feet. Later that evening, I received a text message on my phone with an audio recording of my 2 1/2-year-old grandniece with a sweet little voice, singing, “I am weak, but He is strong.” People in their nineties, teenagers, and a toddler all sang that song that day.

After hearing that simple song three times, I began to think the Lord might be telling me something. Actually, He gave us all this message long ago: “I love you.” We read in John 19 that He allowed people to put a crown of thorns on His head, mock Him, strike Him, strip Him, and crucify Him (vv.1-6). He had the power to stop them, but He said very little (v.11). He did it all for love’s sake to pay for our sins and to rescue us from punishment.

How much does God love us? Jesus spread out His arms and was nailed to the cross. He died for us, then rose again. That’s a precious fact for young and old. By Anne Cetas

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so;
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak but He is strong. —Warner

The truest measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure! —Bernard of Clairvaux

A Matter of Life and Death

Romans 5:6-19

There’s a issue of supreme importance that we often forget about in the busyness of life and the daily challenges of relationships. It is the question of where people will spend eternity.

Looking at the human race from a divine viewpoint, we understand that at the end of time, there will be two groups: those who will live forever with God and those who will experience eternal death, separated from Him. Every living person’s final destination will hinge on the simplicity of receiving God’s forgiveness for his or her sins.

Nobody—saved or unsaved—deserves God’s mercy. No amount of good deeds, religious activity, or church attendance can earn the free gift of forgiveness and eternal relationship with our Maker. From the kindest to the cruelest, we each inherited the sinful nature of “the first Adam,” who was the first man to know the Lord and also the first to rebel against Him.

Without God’s gift of grace—namely, a new spirit, made possible by Jesus’ substitutionary death and resurrection—we could never be washed and made clean. Through a simple act of faith, we receive God’s offer of total pardon and a completely new spiritual nature.

Everyone is born into the world with a “flesh” nature bent away from God, (Rom. 8:7-8), and spiritual death can be avoided only through Jesus Christ and the forgiveness that He offers. Have you received Him as your personal Savior? If not, pray right now, sincerely asking for salvation. God wants you to receive His free gift of eternal life, perfect righteousness, and adoption into His family.

The Good Pleasure of God

“Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)

God’s good pleasure withholds judgment! “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23). “The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145:8-9).

God’s good pleasure is to do good to His people! “The LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:3-4).

God’s good pleasure forgives us! “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19).

God’s good pleasure is to bring about His will! “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. . . . So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:9-11). “The Lord . . . is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). When we live in God’s good pleasure, we are able to “delight” in Him. HMM III

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain…

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain… having a desire to depart and to be with Christ which is far better.—Philippians 1:21, 23.

If I were annihilated this moment, I should bless God for having been allowed to live. Far more, if I were to have to toil and suffer in this sorrowful but glorious earth-life through unnumbered ages, and the sorrow and suffering continued to bring the living life with it that it has brought, I would gladly accept sorrow and suffering here on earth. How much more, then, when I expect, and am sure, that a very few years more will place me with these precious life powers in a world fitted for highest life, with life intensified, and all the pure great life of ages gathered there, besides those whom I have dearly loved. EDWARD THRING.

Our present life in Christ may be compared to that of the seed; a hidden life, contending underground against cold and darkness and obstructions, yet bearing within its breast the indestructible prim of vitality. Death lifts the soul into the sunshine for which a hidden, invisible work has prepared it. Heaven is the life of the flower. DORA GREENWELL.

Jehovah-nissi: The Lord my banner

Jehovah-nissi: The Lord my banner. Exodus 17:15

If God be for us, who can be against us? — The LORD is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

Behold, God himself is with us for our captain. — The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them.

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. — Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.

Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 60:4. Psalm 27:1,3. 2 Chronicles 13:12. Psalm 46:7. Revelation 17:14. Psalm 2:1,4. Isaiah 8:10.

The fruit of the Spirit is love

The fruit of the Spirit is love.Galatians 5:22

God is love: and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. — The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. — Unto you … which believe he is precious. — We love him, because he first loved us. — The love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. — This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. — Above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. — Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.

1 John 4:16. Romans 5:5. 1 Peter 2:7. 1 John 4:19. 2 Corinthians 5:14,15. 1 Thessalonians 4:9. John 15:12. 1 Peter 4:8. Ephesians 5:2.