An evidence of God’s love for us is His dwelling in our hearts:
God says, “My son, give Me your heart” (Prov ), and He looks to every heart and to every soul and says, “This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.” (Ps 132: 14) In His incarnation He had now here to lay His head (Lk ).
The best place where the Lord can lay His head is a pure heart.
It is a heart that loves God and loves to have God in it. And God so loves us that He stands at the door of every heart and knocks that we may open to Him (). He says to every soul, “Open for Me, My sister, My love, My dove, My perfect one,” and when the soul delays He waits until His head is covered with dew and His locks with the drops of the night (Song 5: 2). Heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain God, but He wants to dwell in us. Your heart is the greatest heaven and the greatest temple and throne where God likes to dwell, as we say in the poem: “A whisper of love”:
Yes, in heaven You are, yet every heart having love is Your heaven… Your holiest throne is a heart, free from all love except Yours … You are not far from my soul, which in the quiet of silence is guided by Your call …
Yes, we are temples of God and He dwells in us (1 Cor ). He says, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (Jn 14: 23) So, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit dwell in You… You are a dwelling place for the Holy Trinity! How deep in God’s love for us and how sublime is a heart that loves God!
Such a heart that is filled with God’s love is truly more sublime than heaven!!
Heaven and earth pass away as the Lord says (Mt ; Rev 21: 1), but your hearts where God dwells will remain, and God will continue dwelling with and amidst His people (Rev 21: 3); for He says, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28: 20).
He is “Immanuel”, which is translated “God with us”, (Mt )
Who are we, O Lord, that You may be with us?! We are only dust and ashes, despised and nothing (1 Cor ). But God says, I am with you, because I love you and love to be in your midst, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” (Mt 18: 20) My pleasure is in mankind, He says, I love to dwell in you. You are My immortal heaven, My throne, and My kingdom.
The Scripture says, “The
Open your heart and you will find inside it God’s kingdom and love. Amazing indeed that He says, “Give Me your heart”! Who am I, O Lord to give You?! You are the source of all riches; You satisfy the desire of every living thing; You own the earth and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. You alone need nothing.
However, I will give You my heart that You may sanctify, cleanse, and purify it and dwell in it. It will be blessed and will be Yours.
Take it, O Lord, and lay Your head on it; for it is You who created it and gave it to me and commanded me to keep it with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life (Prov 4 : 23). I pray that You keep it, so that when I offer it as a place of dwelling for You, I may say as the people of the Old Testament said when giving their offerings for building the Lord’s house :
All things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.” (1 Chr 29: 14).
Blessed are You, O Lord, in Your love which makes You accept from our hands! Blessed are You in Your humbleness when You ask us to give You as You asked the Samaritan woman to give You a drink, although You have the living water which whoever drinks of will never thirst (Jn 4: 7, 4) !
Indeed, none can be likened to You, O Lord (Ps 89: 6,8).
You are very kind, O Lord, and very compassionate. Your love is beyond any description or explanation; it is inexpressible. God’s love appears in His being the Beneficent; He went about doing good in His incarnation (Acts ). He does good even to His enemies and to those who deny His existence. When paganism prevailed over the world He did not stop doing good to them. He gave them faith in Him, as in the example of the people of
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. “
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name!… Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Ps 103: 1-5).
So many are God’s benefits to those who love Him and are loved by Him.
John the Apostle leaned on the Lord’s bosom and heard the beating of His heart, and Mary the sister of Martha sat at His feet and listened to the spiritual words from His mouth. Whoever came in touch with Him received some of His kindness. To the church He said, “I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.” (Isa 49: 16); and to the disciples He said:
“The very hairs of your head are all numbered.” (Mt 10: 30)
God’s love for humanity is apparent in His continual protection and care for all. So, the Psalmist says, “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive… Our soul has escaped as a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord…” (Ps 124) .
The Psalmist then asserts that God alone cares; he says,
“Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Ps 127)
The Psalmist reminds himself of God’s love which he experienced in his life, saying, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? … They surrounded me, but in the name of the Lord I will destroy them… You pushed me violently, that I might fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.” (Ps 118) So many are the Psalms about od’s help, care, and love, and so many are the experiences of David and the saints.
David experienced God’s help when facing Goliath, and said to Him in advance, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts… the battle is the Lord’s” ( 1 Sam 17: 45, 47) David also experience of God’s protection to him against Saul’s plotting.
The three young men experienced God’s love when they were cast into the furnace of fire, and David when cast in the lions’ den. Peter the Apostle experiences God’s love and protection when he was in prison (Acts 12); and John the Apostle while in exile on the island Patmos; Paul the Apostle while in jail in Philippi (Acts 16), and the Lord said to him, “I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you.” (Acts ); and Jacob the father of the fathers when the Lord said to him, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land.” (Gen 28: 15).
The stories of God’s love and care for His children are innumerable, whether those in the Holy Scripture or in the church history, and extend to everybody. Also the miracles of healing and casting out demons were not only for the children of Abraham but also for the Gentiles. God in His love and compassion does not distinguish between those who deserve and those who do not.
If God only cares for saints, we all will perish!
No body will be found deserving in the scale. All of us are sinners; all we like sheep have gone astray and turned, every one, to his own way ( Isa 53: 6). They have all turned aside and become corrupt; there is none who does good (Ps 14). And God taught us to do like Him: “If you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?” “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you… that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.” (Mt 5: 44-46).
God taught this divine principle even to nature.
See the lilies of the field, the roses and flowers, they do not give their sweet aroma only to the righteous and those who deserve, but to everybody, to whoever picks and rubs them. Their smell continues in one’s hand even after they fade. Likewise, the sun gives its heat and light to everybody; the tree gives its shade and the spring its water to everybody without distinction. God demonstrated His love towards us while we were still sinners. He redeemed us with His blood even when we were dead in trespasses. (Rom 5: 8; Eph 2: 4,5).
I wonder who among us was worthy of His precious blood!
Every time I have the Holy Communion I say in my prayer: “O Lord, not because I am deserving, but because I need it …” and I taught this prayer to many. God gives the undeserving at least for three reasons: because His nature is love and giving, because they need; and because His love may have influence on them.
The Lord cares for everybody, at all times.
Even on the cross He cared about the others. While exhausted to the utmost, His body torn and blood pouring by the thorns, while bearing the cross and the nails penetrating His hands and feet, yet in His deep love He cared about those who crucified Him, asking forgiveness for them and giving them excuse, “they do not know what they do” (Lk 23: 34). His unbearable suffering did not remove away His love, but moreover He gave himself on the cross because of His love and to forgive them. On the cr4oss He promised the thief to be with Him that day in Paradise, thus comforting him before his death (Lk 23:43).
With the same love He cared about His mother the holy Virgin and entrusted her to His disciple John the beloved who took her from that hour to his own home (Jn 19: 27).
He did not care about Himself but about the others, for love does not seek its own (1 Cor 13: 5) but rather denies itself. It is not strange then that Mahatma Gandhi the spiritual leader of India, as the historian Fischer says wept when he saw the icon of Christ on the cross while in a visit to France. People saw Christ as love moving on the earth, and continued moving more strongly on the cross even when the body was motionless, hammered with nails.
Even on the way to the cross His loved worked for the deserving and for the undeserving.
He had compassion on Malchus the high priest’s servant when Peter struck him and cut off his hear. The Lord touched his ear and healed him (Lk 22: 50-51), and for His disciples He said to those who came to arrest Him, “If you seek Me, let these go their way.” (Jn 18: 8) He wanted to give them opportunity to flee in peace.
In conclusion I say there is still much to say in a third article on God’s love – God willing.