I am amazed today how I see so many struggle with love and justice. It seems like the two cannot get married and stay married. I was with a group of young adults, basketball players trying to make it into a league that will get them as close to the NBA as possible. I meet them once every three months or so as a spiritual advisor and encourager. As I finished up I knew I had hit a raw nerve when the coach introduced the Bible as a book of rules, contradicting my entire message which was based on God’s love.
It must have been real hard for the prophets to share this message. They only had the law and they did not have the new covenant of grace introduced by Jesus. Still, the character of God has remained the same, so they focused on that.
The wilderness and the dry land will be glad;
the desert will rejoice and blossom like a rose.[q][r]
It will blossom abundantly
and will also rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon.
They will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God and the redeemed of the Lord will return
and come to Zion with singing,
crowned with unending joy.
Joy and gladness will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee. – Isaiah 35:1-2,10 HCSB
The disposition of God’s heart is joy and gladness. I think God is troubled about those things that hinder love. When I look at His judgments, I see Him removing everything that hinders love. That is why He intervenes in judgment – He is zealous to fill the earth with love, humility and righteousness.
But anyone joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. – 1 Corinthians 6:17 HCSB
This is why I think that I pursue such a union with Jesus. There is nothing more I need. When I am discipling others, this becomes a stumbling stone because they want more from me and all I have is Jesus. I try to show them how precious it is to fall in love with Jesus more and more. To seek out His beauty, to delight in Him. to joy in Him and to worship Him. I ask them to train their heart to make the choice to love Jesus more than any thing or any one.
This hymn might be helpful describing what it is like to be the bride of Jesus. It is a meditation on what that would be.
Father, thank You for revealing Your joy and gladness to me in the midst of calling me to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit who sustains me and calls me to make a choice everyday to love You. Your love is sustaining me and I love You for this. Amen.