Boundless Heart

Dear iLove Family:
I want to begin by thanking each of the precious ladies who wrote “Words for Wednesday” over the last several weeks. If “Words” was a baseball game, you each knocked it out of the park! Home Run! I enjoyed reading each one and I appreciate the time that you took to write out your heartfelt thoughts and feelings.
This week I would like to attempt a new series called “The Heart of God”. Each week I hope to challenge you to think about the depth and richness of God’s heart and how it impacts the way you think and act in response to Him and to others.
Boundless Heart
Oftentimes, we tend to picture God based on how we, ourselves, act and react. We project upon God feelings and emotions that we ourselves have and, in doing so, we place limits on God. For instance, take the way we love others. As long as everything goes smoothly, we find it easy to love someone. But when that same person fails us in some way, we tend to withdraw our love from them. Because we do this, consciously or subconsciously, we see God’s love as a “withdrawn love”. We do the same with forgiveness and put requirements upon others to “earn” our forgiveness. We are so good at this that we come to believe that we have to earn God’s favor in order to be forgiven. We do this many times without even thinking about it. That is man’s heart.
But God’s heart is not like our heart. Isaiah 55:7-10 tells us, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.’”
In that passage, God is calling out to the wicked and to the unrighteous and all that He requires is that they return to Him. And when they do, they will find compassion and forgiveness.
God has let us know that He doesn’t love like we love and He doesn’t forgive like we forgive. His love, mercy and grace are deeper than we could ever believe. Is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” To paraphrase the great preacher Jonathan Edwards, God’s love and forgiveness is “an ocean without shores or bottom”.1
As hard as it is to imagine, He calls on you and me to be the same way. Ephesians 5:1 tells us, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children”. Avoid the trap of making God like yourself. He wants you to be like Him and He has provided a way for you to do that through His Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit, you can get in touch with the heart of God. His heart is far greater than we could ever imagine.
These are your Words for Wednesday.
Please be in prayer for our revival meetings coming up in October. Have a great rest of your week!
In Christ,
1 Jonathan Edwards, “That God Is the Father of Lights,” in The Blessing of God: Previously Unpublished Sermons of Jonathan Edwards (B&H, 2003), 350.

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