by Pastor Tim Burt
If I have learned anything about God, I have learned that He loves us and that He loves me far more than my intellect can comprehend!
There was a day when I was terrified of God. I was living like the devil and didn’t know God. I feared He was mostly out to get me because I was such a disappointment to Him and because of the way I lived. But I was very wrong. That thinking came mostly from ignorance of God—from not knowing a thing about what the Bible says about God. At that point in time, I imagined God to be more of one ready to strike me with a thunderbolt or calamity than being a loving God. My subliminal goal was hoping not to tick off the big guy in the sky. How ignorant and irreverent that strikes me today!
In Romans 5:8 NLT the Bible says, “But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” This is saying that He proved His love to me by having Jesus die for my sins before I was ever born and then also at the time I was actually living as a total reprobate. That truly is mind-boggling! Only God could have seen beyond my stupid life of the past and still have loved me.
That is what Isaiah 55:9 is saying! “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” People often misinterpret this scripture saying that it means all God’s ways are mysterious and that they can’t be figured out. Well, they can’t be figured out but He does reveal them to us through His Holy Spirit!
There is more to what it means than that. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” It’s talking about God’s love and His thoughts and attitudes of love toward us. His love and patience is so far beyond our own. He understands what has led to our perverted concepts of Him and to our ungodly living. He knows what Satan has done to pervert this earth and the atmospheres and environments of life that have contributed to our wrong thinking and behavior. It only produced a greater love, mercy and patience from God toward us. God hates what Satan has done to this earth. Understanding the depth of God’s love toward you is what will help produce good and godly change within you. His love working in us will then spill from our lives to touch and change the lives of others. His thoughts regarding love are so much greater and higher than our thoughts and intellect to grasp it.
I remember a time when I got a call from my son Jeffrey from school. I had just brought him to school and returned home. He called home telling me that he forgot his gym bag and needed me to bring it to school for him. I was really upset with him for that little infraction— at least at first. Then I thought about Jesus’ higher ways and merciful love toward me. I immediately felt embarrassed that I was making such a mountain out of a molehill. He made a simple mistake as I had a thousand times before. It instantly stirred mercy and my love toward my son.
His standard of love helps me feel secure in Him as I continue to live my life knowing that He really, really loves me! Compared to the Lord’s standard of love toward us, our love can seem so conditional and so easy to derail. I am so glad that God’s standard is so high. His standard of love is so merciful and helps me stretch and grow my standard. I know that I am a project in progress. I continuously let His love redefine and stretch my limited love. His ways and thoughts are higher and He wants us to learn them! May they redefine your love toward others today!
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT2) “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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