June 11, 2014

Maxine Rice

God’s love is not just a feeling that we are supposed to “muster” up. His love is based on His character and promise to be with us. It gives us the substance of God’s commitment to us, amidst our own path of life, to assure us of His goodwill and love.   “I will watch over them and care for them and bring them back to this land.  I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.  I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD.  They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:6-7”  This verse has encouraged my heart so very much. Even though the people of Jeremiah’s time had rebelled against God’s ways and had compromised His will for their life, God still watched over them and promised them that in their future, He would do them good and not evil, that He would take them closer to His heart. This is what God promised them on their road ahead: He would set his eyes–watch us–and willed them His goodness and presence to provide for the His children–us. He would lead them from their place of banishment to their own land, from the dark path where they had walked to a new place–a path of life. His will was to guide them home and to to guide us home. His heart is to build up his children, and not to overthrow them. He will plant us and allow us to grow, and not allow us to be plucked up–pulled away from His presence and protection. But most of all, we see God’s heart: “I will give them hearts that recognize me–that knows me. They will be my people and I will be their God.” God wants to give you a new heart, a heart that is so close to His, that you understand deeply and experience in reality His deep love and commitment to you. God longs for us to be “His people” –His family, to own Him as our very own father, and he has already extended His son, Jesus,