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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Psalm 91:14-15
"Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.

"With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."

Although all of us (beginning with Job) can point to times when God didn't seem to be doing any of these things, we can also look back and see that indeed, He did. God may not always define protection, deliverance, honor and satisfaction as we do. But he always fulfills his promise.

What does he expect in return? I do this "because you love me," says the Lord. How do I love God? Trust him ... obey him ... worship him ... capitalize His Name? Love myself less? Listen to Him, talk to Him, surrender to Him? So many verbs, so little time.

In his first letter the apostle John looks at love from many angles. Toward the end of chapter four he writes, "We love because God first loved us. If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen."

There is nothing complicated about this statement ... but then I think of my friend Joe, who confronted the man who killed his son and fiancé at an interstate rest stop. Or Corrie ten Boom, who looked her Nazi concentration camp captain straight in the eyes, remembering vividly how her sister died at his hands. Love is about action: how did Joe and Corrie act in these situations? How would I act?

Because God loves me, I can learn to love my enemy. I can choose to love the man who hates me. I can throw myself into this ring of fire because God promises to rescue me. God is in charge, and I am not. And his promises stand forever.

Lord, peel away the layers of my self-protection. Because you love me, show me how to love like You.

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