Thursday, February 10, 2011

How Deep the Father's Love For Us, Fernando Ortega/ Stuart Townend

Ponder the very simple, but precious, things He allows us mortal beings to do:
- To hold a newborn baby (or a wiggly puppy !)
- To sing in a choir, hum a melody, or listen to the song of a warbler.
- Pick up a leaf or a feather and see the intricacies of its design.
- To truly love another person.
- To be a person awakened to knowing God through His Spirit and His Word!

There are also the times when we are just hanging on to the promises; we often wait, but don't see it play out the way we had expected or hoped:
- The child with disability or a relational struggle.
- A marriage not quite what you had longed for.
- Personal or family health issues.
- Loneliness despite others around you.
- Financial difficulties/debt.

Joni Tada, quadriplegic at age 17.

God can and often does use pain to bring us to a place of brokenness and humility. Otherwise, we may miss the blessing and intimacy He intends to give us through the struggle. He loves us so much that He uses any means possible to draw us to Himself.

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world". - C.S. Lewis

How Deep the Father's Love for Us, by Stuart Townend, is a modern-day hymn which well deserves a place in the canon of true anthems of the Church. Mr. Townend ministers in the UK and has recently penned these rich words. He tells us how he came to write the words:

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
And make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon his cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

Supporting Scriptures:
In Matt. 27:46, about the 9th hour that Jesus was on the cross, He "cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?' That is to say, 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?'" Mark's account (Mk. 15:34) is almost identical.

"Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:28-30

"Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53: 4-6

"For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Isaiah 53:12b

"But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14

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