LOVER OF MY SOUL

(HE RAN TO ME)

“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20

          For most relationships, there is a keen sense of justice, of wrong and right. For most relationships, there comes that point where whoever is supposedly “more understanding” gets tired of giving in, and wants, for once, the “offender” to be the one to make the first move to ask for forgiveness, to save their friendship, to restore their relationship.

          If God were man! If God were man, where would we all be? In eternal agony, I am sure. There isn’t a single living soul that can fulfill the requirements to bridge the gap that sin has created between sinful man and righteous God. So what did God do? He ran to us.

          He made the first move. He sent His only begotten Son that He may choose to die accursed on that Cross in Calvary. And like that prodigal son, while we were “a long way off… He ran to…” US. And even for those of us who have already come to Him in repentance, have we not hurt Him again and again? Yet, without fail, whenever we get down on our knees, it is He who comes running to welcome us back.

          Oh, Jesus! Lover of my soul! What a terrible price You have had to pay! For the sake of such a soul as mine that is as weak and inconsistent as miry clay! Never get tired of me, my Lord and my God! For I can never be truly whole without You. I was created for Your glory. I was created to need You and I was created to please You. Oh, Jesus! Lover of my soul! Help me to always remember to come to You!

          Lover of my soul… You who always run to me… I am down on my knees… never let me go.


 

TOPICAL TEACHING: LOVE MOVES

 

4.Love heals.

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:23-24)

•The healings from His gracious love even goes beyond our physical needs.

5.Love transforms.

Focus: our disposition

4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions— (Ephesians 2:4-5)

•Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

•See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1)

6.Love sacrifices.

•But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

•He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)

7.Love serves.

6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! (Philippians 2:6-8)

•Jesus washing the disciples’ feet

8.Love nourishes.

•By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. (1 John 4:9)

•The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

 

LOVE GIVES BACK (Transition point)

•Love fills a person to the brim that out of him/her, love overflows.

•We move in love back because:

oIt is God’s command: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

oIt is the natural fruit of our relationship with God: 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

 

As response to the love we have so graciously received from God:

1.As His love accepts, we accept.

•As Jesus did, so must we: Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (Romans 15:7)

2.As His love forgives, we forgive (and so healing comes).

•Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Colossians 3:13)

3.As His love transforms, we are transformed (and our love, too, transforms).

•See how the love of Jesus caused a tremendous transformation in the life of Zaccheus!

•Upon receiving the love of God that transforms, we should be a positive and encouraging force in whatever field we are in.

4.As His love gives, we give.

•16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:16-18)

•Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

5.As His love serves, we serve.

•But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. (1 Samuel 12:24)

•As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1 Peter 4:10)

6.As His love sacrifices, we sacrifice.

•31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:31-36)

7.As His love nourishes, we nourish each other.

•Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

•There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)


In Ephesians 3:17-19, Saint Paul penned a Spirit-led prayer that will encourage all believers to always MOVE in LOVE: “I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—THAT YOU MAY BE FILLED TO THE MEASURE OF ALL THE FULLNESS OF GOD.”

Indeed, we are on a daily pursuit of living love that reflects that of the Lord Jesus Christ. For when He came to the world, He did not just define love – He SHOWED us LOVE in its truest sense. 

And so, with our hearts filled with gratefulness, let us MOVE in LOVE, all for the glory of God!