We love…because He first loved us.

This marriage is going to be glorious. Beyond all measure. It is going to be used to glorify God, over ourselves. God brought us together and He is going to keep us together; sustaining and keeping us in His love and covenant of grace. Love brought us together, and it will suffuse the marriage. But, it won’t be our love. The marriage will sustain our love, rather than our love sustaining our marriage. We love because He first loved us.

That amazing concept brings tears to my eyes. God is so unbelievably good to us. His love is beyond measure. As far as the east is from the west, are His mercies for us. His love is unconditional. And our love is modeled after that. (Or should be, at least. We are human and will never measure up to His love. We just can’t do it.)

Of course we will have our issues, for it would be naive of me to think otherwise. But, living Christ-centered lives, we will overcome them.

With this covenant we have entered into, a truth has been brought to me – there is so much to be said about God’s love that I don’t even know where to begin. His love is unbounded. It’s magnificent in its grandeur and peace and joy. Just thinking about how He loves us, I am rendered speechless. The song, “How He loves us”, says it all.

“He is jealous for me…
He loves like a hurricane…
and I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy…
When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory…
when heaven meets earth like a sloppy-wet kiss, my heart turns violently inside of my chest…
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about…the way that He loves us!
if His love was an ocean, we’d all be sinking…
Whoa…how He loves us…”(from memory, so I would suggest listening to the song)

Just think about that for a minute…

How He loves us…

Whooah…how He loves…

My heart does turn violently. Brings tears of joy, literally. It’s…just…unfathomable.

Our marriage will be sustained by His love.
The covenant of marriage that we have entered will sustain our love.
Why?
How?
We love…because He first loved us.

I am in awe at this concept.

We love because He first loved us.

Unbelievable.

(I wrote this on the plane to Miami, as Sarah slept. We are going on our honeymoon now. So! I won’t respond to any comments for some time. We are turning off all our connections to the world as soon as we step foot on the boat. Love you all and hope your week goes well!)

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“Did God really say…?”

So, I have recently been inundated with claims about “contradictions” and “flaws” within the Bible. I have looked at these claims and found them wanting. They are not flaws or contradictions. I would like to explain why, for all who care to join me.

Define

Contradiction –

  1. the act of going against; opposition; denial
  2. a declaration of the opposite or contrary
  3. a statement that is at variance with itself (often in the phrase a contradiction in terms )

 

Example

 A.

     Johnny says that the chair was broken.
     Timmy says that the same chair is most definitely not broken.

     There is, inherent to these two statements, a contradiction. Is the chair broken, or not broken?

B.

     Paul: The world is round.
     Fred: Paul said the world is round, but it is actually square and flat.

     Do we understand the word “contradiction”?

 
The Inundation
(this is not directed at anyone person, merely a response to arguments I have heard from quite a few people recently)

All I have been told about these flaws is essentially boiled down to semantics. “He said this, but he didn’t say it too, so that’s a contradiction.” “A hare doesn’t chew its cud.” “The Bible is LIES!!!!” That’s what this boils down to. It is twisting of the truth. Set to dismantle one’s faith. Which reminds me of Satan, who goes through the earth and attempts to tear people away from faithfulness to God. “Did God really say…?”

 I mean, really, let me look at this one instance. “They went just after sunrise.” “They went very early, while it was still dark.” “They went at dawn.” “They went very early in the morning.” These are paraphrased accounts of when Mary (and others) arrived at the tomb Jesus was buried in by the four gospels. Are these contradictions? NO! They mean the exact same thing, with different verbiage. “Did God really say…?”

Who was at the tomb? Mary. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. Mary. Mary, and others. Again, “Did God really say…?”

 
The Answer

Stand firm in the faith. Resist the devil and he will flee. Seriously, the devil is deceptive. Funny thing about deception – you don’t know you are being deceived. The adversary, the accuser, the twister-of-truth, has had many years of practice. Resist the devil.

 “Did God really say…?”
“Why, yes, He did. It is written…”

Example of resisting the devil

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,

and they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” (Matthew 4:1-11)

Example of Deception

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. (Genesis 3:1-7)

 Conclusion

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

אלוהים (Elohim)

 

I’m learning Hebrew and fell across something rather remarkable in my eyes. Granted, I am no where near fluent in this language quite yet but I wanted to share this revelation. It’s found in the first three words of the original text of the Bible.

בראשית ברא אלוהים
Bereshit bara Elohim…
In the beginning created God.

The word Elohim is a plural word, meaning god or gods. It is also used in the singular sense, so it means God in this instance. However, the fact that’s it is a plural word used in the singular sense is remarkable to me. Furthermore, Adonai, or The Lord, or Jehovah is used elsewhere in the Bible to refer to God…so why a plural word in the very first sentence?

The Bible as a whole (Old and New Testaments) talks about God, the Father, the Holy Spirit, and then Jesus. Jesus is alluded to many times in the Old Testament. The beginning of the Gospel of John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1 NIV).” The ‘in the beginning’ part of this is a deliberate echo of the beginning of Genesis…

I feel that Elohim was deliberately used to point to the triune nature of God. I was floored by this revelation as I was learning Hebrew. I am also befuddled that Jews don’t believe in the Trinity when it is seems so plain to me.

Any thoughts on this?