Vol. 36, No. 2 February, 2012
“I HAVE LOVED THEE WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE.”
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting Love, therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”
By Dr. George Mills
This month’s edition of the WILDERNESS is about the Love of God. When I chose this text I did not realize how far His Love was beyond my poor words to describe. And yet, His Love is there, simple, upon every page. In fact, the Bible is God’s Love letter to mankind. So today, let’s study about His Everlasting Love for you, and for me.
His Love is PERSONAL in it’s magnitude.
His Love is PASSIONATE in it’s concern.
His Love is PREEMINENT in it’s display.
His Love is PERENNIAL in it’s length.
His Love is PERFECT in it’s comparison.
1. HIS LOVE IS PERSONAL IN IT’S MAGNITUDE. Meaning “It’s great extent or quality.” I like the personal pronouns in the beloved King James Bible. So many do not like the “thee’s” and “thou’s” but “thee” is PERSONAL. If God had said “you” He could have been speaking to more than one, or to a group. But “thee” makes it PERSONAL. He was speaking to me when He said “thee.” “I have loved thee.” I like that! I like the way Paul said it when he wrote, “I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved ME and gave Himself for ME.”(Gal. 2:20). Nothing could be more personal than God’s Love for His own. But see the magnitude as His love extends to the whole human race. “For God so loved the WORLD.” (John 3:16). He loved an ungrateful, hostile world, but He loved. No one can explain that. We just have to accept that. This publication reaches into many places in this world. I know not where you may be, or in what condition you may be, but I do know that God Loves you! He sent His Son to die for me, and for you. He paid the debt of sin that man is incapable of paying. That’s part of His Love. It reaches higher, wider, farther, deeper, longer, and stronger than man can comprehend. God Loves ME, that’s personal. God Loves the world, that’s extensive.
2. HIS LOVE IS PASSIONATE IN IT’S CONCERN.
As I read the text in Jeremiah 31, I can easily see the Passionate Concern of God for Israel. The nation had spurned His Love. He had sent His prophets to warn the nation. But the nation would not heed His warnings. The nation has had to endure years of captivity and disbursement among the nations, but God has His eye, His concern, His compassion upon Israel. “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together a great company shall return thither.” (Jer. 31:8) “He that scattereth Israel will gather him as a shepherd does his flock.”(v10). Read the entire chapter and see God’s Compassionate concern for Israel. He will bring them to their homeland as he said. Now, in like manner, His Love and concern is the same for those who have received His Son as Saviour. The Apostle John wrote, “Behold, what manner of Love the father hath bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God, therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew Him not.” (1Jn. 3:1), “What manner of love” “What strange kind of love is this?” THINK ABOUT IT…God saved us when we said “yes” to His Son. Now, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with His Son (Ro. 8:17). What passion and concern God has for His own. “Like as a father pitieth his children so the LORD pitieth them that fear Him.”(Psa. 103:13).
3. HIS LOVE IS PREEMINENT IN IT’S DISPLAY. Preeminent meaning “above all others.”
Where can we see the display of His Love? The world has it’s own concepts of love and freely displays those concepts of love in thousands of different ways and manners. Our God displayed His Love in such a way that it towers above all others, and all other concepts of love. High upon a hill called Calvary, “THERE, THEY, CRUCIFIED, HIM!” All the world can clearly behold the display of God’s Love. “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Jn. 3:16).”For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die, yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth HIS LOVE toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Ro. 5:6-8). He commendeth His Love, He DISPLAYED His Love. Due to the diversity of readers of this Publication it is not unusual for us to receive mail from those who do not care for our God. They exalt Buddha, or Mohammed, or Allah, or any one of the modern day ‘gods’. But can they point to that one and say with confidence, “He’s the one who died for my sin?” Or “My god was buried and arose from the dead and is alive today/” or “My god loves me, and displays his love for me thousands of ways every day,” NO! They cannot! None can! “But our GOD displayed His Love at Calvary. Preeminent above all others. “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He might have the PREEMINENCE.” (Col. 1:18).
4. HIS LOVE IS PERENNIAL IN IT’S LENGTH. “Persistent, enduring, continuing without interruption.”
“I have loved thee with an EVERLASTING LOVE.” I have the assurance from God’s Word that His Love for me will never expire. His Love for me did not begin the moment I was saved. That was back in August, 1960. No, when I was conceived in my Mother’s womb, He loved me. I believe that life begins at the moment of conception. He knew all about me in my Mother’s womb. “I will praise Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from Thee when I was made in secret and curiously wrought in the lowest part of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect, and in thy Book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned when as yet there was none of them.” (Psa. 139:14-16). While I was being formed in the womb, God knew all about me, and you.
From our Text in Jeremiah 31, God’s Love for Israel is an EVERLASTING LOVE. He will fulfill every promise He made concerning Israel.
His Love for the Believer is an EVERLASTING LOVE. “From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.” And His Love is from Everlasting to everlasting. When Everlasting Life, and Everlasting Love begin to expire, then I’ll start to worry. That can never happen. Everlasting means everlasting!
5. HIS LOVE IS PERFECT IN IT’S COMPARISON.
What can I compare with God’s Love? Is there something in this world, in this life that I might bring to compare? There are many things we love and care for very deeply. Can anything compare?
FATHER’S LOVE. Can a father’s love be compared with God’s Love? God said to Israel in our Text, v9, “I am a Father to Israel.” The Bible gives us many illustrations of a good earthly father. I suppose that we all would think of the Father of the prodigal son in Lk.15:11-32. The son wasted his life, his possessions, and his father’s good name. He went for wine, women and song. And when he came to himself, he thought of his father. “I will return to my father.” I suppose the father spent many sleepless nights worrying about his son. I am sure he watched the road that led to his home. And then, one day, still a great way off, the father saw a figure walking toward him. He recognized this to be his son and ran to him and embraced him and kissed him and had compassion on him and brought him home and fed him the fatted calf. This picture has been used in thousands of sermons about God’s Love as He welcomes the sinner home. I have utmost respect for a father who loves, and cares for his own. But a father’s love may turn to hatred. Many are serving life terms for the physical abuse of their family. We see this daily. How sad.
A MOTHER’S LOVE. Will the love of this dear one compare with God’s love? The Bible has many illustration of a great Mother. I am quite sure that most would think of the Mother in Prov. 31:10-31.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” That text describes a great woman who cares for her family. Recently we heard one of our young men read this text to his Mother and thanked her for her work and example in his life. I believe that most of us can recall with great love that dear one we call Mother. But, as with a father, sometimes a mother’s love will end. Almost daily we hear about a mother who has murdered her children. We think, “this just could not happen,” but it does.
A SWEETHEART’S LOVE. Read the Song Of Solomon. “The Romance Of The Ages.”
“The voice of my beloved! Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart behold he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows showing himself through the lattice. My beloved spake unto me, rise up my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Solomon 3:8-10). The Book is filled with sweet moments of two young lovers. What a wonder it would be if that same relationship between lovers would continue for the years ahead. Thank God mine has continued for over 57 years.
But so many, many sweetheart relationships just come to an end. This is always sad.
THE LOVE OF A FRIEND. Thank God for real friends. I don’t mean acquaintances, or someone I have known for a long time. I mean a real friend.
“A friend loveth at all times.” When things are good, or things are bad, a friend is still a friend.
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend.” (Pr. 27:6).
A friend may hurt you, but he/she will never harm you. A friend will tell you when you are wrong and encourage you when you are right. A friend may speak harsh words to warn you if necessary, but he/she is still your friend. His words may have wounded your pride, but he helped you because he is your friend. Our Lord Jesus had friends. Friends who walked with Him, and yes, friends who died for Him. But there was one “friend” who betrayed Him. I believe we are familiar with the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Jesus knew that Judas was not really His friend. But this betrayal hurt, as any betrayal would hurt. “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psa. 41:9) This is an Old Testament prophecy of Judas. But what a Friend we have in Jesus.
“I’ve found a friend, oh such a Friend,
He loved me e’er I knew Him.
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.”
(Hymn by James Small/ George Stebbins)
No love can compare with His Love.
Of course, volumes could be written and never really tell all of the truth about His “EVERLASTING LOVE.” But let me share this with you. Such Love, such Love defined, displayed, and demonstrated, demands some response from me, from you. Over 50 years ago, I heard of His Love for me. I walked forward to an alter in front of the small Church, I knelt down and I asked Christ to forgive my sin and to come into my heart to be my Lord and Saviour. I cannot say that those were my exact words, but I said something like that, from my heart. My life was changed that day. Everything about me was changed. Just a few months later, when I arrived at my job site, I paused before entering, I had prayer, and I told my Lord that I wanted to give my life to Him for the furtherance of the Gospel. What I am saying is that since He gave His life for me, that I may live, can I do less than to give my life to Him? That was over 45 years ago. I have never regretted a moment living For Jesus. I sure have regretted those years before I met Him, but He has made it all worth every moment. My Saviour wants to be your Saviour today. If you have already received Him into your heart, I praise God for that. Give Him your love. If you have never received Him, please respond to his Love today. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.” You may ask, “how do I receive Him?” The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” He is there, where you are, in the person of the Holy Spirit, as He speaks to your heart. He will come in at your invitation. He will never come in unbidden by you. Ask Him in today. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
Live in His EVERLASTING LOVE!
THINK ABOUT IT….God proved His Love by giving all He had, His Son for a sinful world.
Jesus proved His Love by giving all He had, His Life on the Cross for that sinful world.
What can we do to prove our love but give all that we have, our life, to be His Ambassadors to that same sinful world.
“The Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Ro. 5:5)
I HAVE LOVED THEE WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE”
By Pastor George Mills
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
Long before I knew that He lived,
There in ages past.
Eternal Son, The sinless One,
On whom all sin was cast
Then, He Loved me.
Long before I knew He came,
That He came to set us free.
To live with man, to fulfill God’s plan,
To bear sin’s penalty,
Then, He Loved me.
Long before I knew He died,
And that He died for me.
He took the blame, for all my shame,
When they nailed Him to the tree,
Then, He Loved me.
Long before I knew that He lives,
And He’s alive for evermore.
His tomb opened wide, there was nothing inside,
When the stone was moved from the door,
Then, He loved me.
Long before I knew of His Love,
He placed His arms around me.
And with His great Love, this Gift from above,
He knew me, and he found me,
Then, He loved me.
While ages shall roll, He will keep my soul,
Where we will live in peace above.
His Glory to share, in that Bright land so fair,
And to praise His Everlasting Love,
And for evermore He will Love me.
THINK ABOUT IT..My only response to God’s Love is; “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” (Acts 9:6).
“I HAVE SINNED”
Pastor George Mills
This is the saddest cry that can come from the mouth of the child of God. King David made that cry when the Prophet Nathan faced him with the fact that he had committed sin with Bathsheba. You can read about David’s troubled heart in Psalm 51 and Psalm 32. Let us bring the lesson up to our time in history.
Christians do sin. This is not a license, or liberty, or an excuse, but a fact. “My little children, these things write I unto you that YE SIN NOT. And IF any man sin we have a advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous.” (1John 2:1-2). There are many Bible examples of men and women who failed God, who had to confess, I HAVE SINNED.”
WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS, HE SINS AGAINST KNOWLEDGE. It is not accidental. It is not a slip-up. He/she sins because he has made provision for the flesh. Paul said in Romans 13:14, “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Isaiah 59 reminds us, “and as for our iniquities WE KNOW THEM.” The believer has the Holy Spirit in him to guide him and when that believer sins, he sins against knowledge.
WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS, THE RESULTS ARE VERY COSTLY.
(A) FELLOWSHIP, and not RELATIONSHIP is broken. When we have, by faith alone received Jesus Christ, that RELATIONSHIP will never be broken. But sweet FELLOWSHIP is something else. See King David in his misery in Psalm 51 as he confesses that he had sinned against God. The FELLOWSHIP he had with God had been broken.
(B) SIN IS NOT CHARGED TO THE BELIEVER’S ACCOUNT. “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will NOT IMPUTE SIN.” (Ro. 4:7-8). The word “impute” means to charge to one’s account. Christ paid for our sin, PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. Now, that does not leave me with no responsibility to keep my life free from known sin. “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper, But whoso confesseth and forsaketh shall have mercy.” (Prov. 28:13).
WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS, PRAYER IS HINDERED. The Psalmist reminds us in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not HEAR you. (Isa. 59:2) King David prayed to a heaven of brass until he made things right with God.
WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS, PEACE IS GONE. The sweet peace that we have with God is broken. Hebrews 12:5-9 reminds us that “Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son He receiveth.: King David felt the chastening hand of God. He said in Psalm 51, “This hurts like a broken bone.” Sin affected the entire man. I believe David became very ill (Psa. 32). Does this describe your life today? Has sin robbed you of PEACE, of POWER, and PRAYER?
WHEN A CHRISTIAN SINS, THAT SIN MUST BE DEALT WITH. It must be faced honestly and judged harshly. How do we do that?
(A) CONFESS. “If we CONFESS our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1Jn. 1:9). This is the believer’s refuge. The word confess means “to say the same thing.” God says that this thing is wrong and you agree with God. “God, you are right, I am wrong.” We do not sin in general, or in ignorance, we sin specifically, and we must specifically deal with that sin. Be honest. Tell God. He knows, but we must deal honestly with God.
(B) FORSAKE. “He that covereth his sin shall not prosper but whoso CONFESSETH and FORSAKETH shall have mercy.” Ask for God’s forgiveness and tell Him that you will never, never do that again. It is an awful thing when PEACE and POWER of God is gone, and only the chastening hand of God is seen in our lives. Get rid of that thing that has robbed you of your Joy. God has made every provision for us to enjoy our trip from here to eternity.
Sometime ago, our washing machine broke down. I decided to take it apart and fix it. I soon found the problem. A small garment had gotten into the outer tub and had made it’s way to the pump. I removed the garment from the pump, put the washing machine back together, and it worked as good as new. Let God perform His work on you. Get rid of the thing that stopped everything from flowing and caused the “machine to break down.”
YES, CHRISTIANS DO SIN. “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves.” When we CONFESS and FORSAKE sin, “the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from ALL SIN.” (1Jn. 1:7).
THINK ABOUT IT…None of us have lived a perfect life since we have been saved. At our best, we have failed. I thank God that we have a PERFECT SAVIOUR, A PERFECT BOOK, and a PERFECT PLAN. How can we improve on that?
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…it is no friend to the Christian. The world mocks and makes light of sin, but sin is a heavy weight to try to bear.
“Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” (Jn. 1:29).
Some have the idea that when you become a christian, you will never do anything wrong.
Some have the idea that you can sin and get by with it. WRONG!
Some have the idea that they sinned and just “gave up, what’s the use?” WRONG!
Just re-read the message. Obey God as He speaks to your heart. GOD BLESS YOU!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
Be sure to tell the one you love how much you love them each and every day, but make it special on this day, the day that has been set aside to express our love to others. Give your loved one extra attention with lots and lots of affection and tell them how much you appreciate them. When you have the special one in your life well taken care of with all this attention, affection, and appreciation, then do something special for a friend or neighbor. Let them know that God loves them and so do you. A kind word or deed just to let them know you care will make all the difference in their day. Tell them of God’s Love. Make someone happy, just love them!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
IF I DO MY BEST, WILL I GO TO HEAVEN WHEN I DIE?
Millions of people around the world have the idea that if they try hard enough, if they work enough, if they refrain enough, if they do their best, then God will receive them into Heaven when they die.
BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT GOD SAYS!
1.OUR BEST is not good enough. The Bible says, “All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” That’s right! In the light of what God has done, our best is not good enough.
2.The BEST has already been done.
God gave His Best. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John 3:16).
Jesus gave His Best. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”
The BEST has already been done! There is no other acceptable way. Just receive Christ as your Saviour. Tell Him now that you receive Him. He will hear your heart’s cry. (John1:12).
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
Love, love, love. Love is a word that is used a lot in our society, especially around Valentine’s Day. The word love is never more sincere than when it is used in the phrase that we all want to hear; “I love you.” “I love you” are words that should be taken very seriously, but so many people do not really mean it. They say it, but you could never really tell it by their actions. You may have had someone tell you that they loved you, and did not mean it. When that happens, it can cause severe emotional pain and hurt. You may feel as if that person lied to you and let you down. I know someone who TRULY loves you, and His actions showed that love so much that He even gave up His own life for you. He is the one person who will never let you down, and His Name is Jesus. That same man’s hands and feet were nailed to a cross. A crown of thorns was placed upon His head. He was beaten beyond recognition and spit upon. His actions showed how much He loved you and me. Love is here, love is now, and love was pouring down His brow the day that He gave up His life for you and I. Jesus Christ’s love is everlasting, it will never fade away. His love is the greatest and most powerful love out there. You won’t be able to find this love anywhere else. Now when Valentine’s Day comes around and we are celebrating love, remember the ultimate love that was given by Jesus Christ!
Until next time, may God bless you each and every day. Ashley Stevens
I love beautiful music of all kinds. I love the classics, popular music, folk music, I love music that is played in quality. I am not fond of “Hillbilly” music because someone is always hurting, or has lost a “sweetheart.” I enjoyed a concert with the music of Strauss just a couple of weeks ago at the New Year’s celebration. The downward trend in Gospel music today is alarming. I love the traditional Hymns of the Church. Most of them are filled with doctrine. The melody is sweet and the words are solid, inspirational, firm and foundational, helping to build faith, hope, and character. Sometime ago in our local newspaper there was an article about the “Acceptance of Christian Rock Music in the church.” Rock music is not acceptable and it does not have a place within the beauties of Sacred Music. There is nothing character building about it. If you put the label “CHRISTIAN” on rock music, that does not change a thing. It is still dangerous. We have seen the results of rock music on many of our young people. It opens the door to other things that trap young people. To bring this into the Church is alarming, to say the least. If you watch some of the “religious” programs on TV and quickly turn to a rock music program you will see no difference..same beat, same noise, same lights, same sound, same everything, no difference. In the Church we do not have to adopt the ways of the world. The thinking of many is, “if we are going to win the world we have to become like the world.” This is not true. We have something far better than what the world offers. Some are falling for this idea and again, it is dangerous. Beside the “rock beat” many modern “religious songs” are written with sales in mind. Many are not doctrinally sound. The trend seems to be, “If it rhymes, record it.” A forsaking of sound doctrine has opened a flood gate for the false. Even the loveliness of Sacred Music has been affected. Every church must guard it’s music program. So much of this is beginning to pour into fundamental circles.
Ever will I sing of Thee,
Thou Precious Lamb of Calvary.
I will never lose my song,
It shall be mine through ages long.
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS..It is no friend to the Christian, and it is no friend to your Bible, (KJB). Satan’s attack in the garden of Eden was an attack on the word of God. Just stay with the Book, you know, the Book that your Grandparents had. It’s still true, it’s still the Word.
Sometime ago I was watching one of these “Name it, claim it” religious programs. The preacher had everybody bring their check books to the meeting. He proceeded to have the congregation raise their check books over their head and he began to pronounce a curse upon every check book. “God wants you to be debt free,” he said. I suppose this was some kind of a way that their debts would be paid. Now, I do not doubt that God wants us to be debt free, but I also know that God expects us to pay our honest debts and stop looking for that easy way out. God is glorified when as Christians, we pay our honest debts, on time, as we agreed to do. Stop looking for “quick fixes” and easy ways out. Don’t get carried away with the media preachers of today. Many promise very much but deliver very little. “God will supply all your needs according to the riches of His Glory” IF we are faithfully doing our part.
I was wondering if that preacher received his love offering BEFORE he pronounced a curse on those check books? Oh well!
Our Gracious Father, in the Name above all names, the Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, bless every reader of this Publication. Save the unsaved, strengthen every believer, and empower us to publish the Gospel to the ends of the earth, through Christ our Lord we pray, AMEN.