Devotional Thought of the Day:
17 My strength, I will make music for you, for my stronghold is God, the God who loves me faithfully. Psalm 59:17 (NJB)
what more canst thou hope for than the fulfillment of this great promise, “I will be their God”? This is the masterpiece of all the promises; its enjoyment makes a heaven below, and will make a heaven above. Dwell in the light of thy Lord, and let thy soul be always ravished with his love.
It is Karl Barth’s answer to the questioner who asked him, “Professor Barth, you have written dozens of great books, and many of us think you are the greatest theologian in the world. Of all your many ideas, what is the most profound thought you have ever had?” Without a second’s hesitation, the great theologian replied, “Jesus loves me.”
It is refreshing to read words of pastors from other eras in the church. Especially when those words haven’t been translated, and even cleansed in recent decades. Even so, sometimes how things are said are shocking, they set us back, and cause us to process what we read.
Such an occurrence took place as I was reading from Spurgeon this morning.
That seems such an odd word to use regarding the love of God. Whether it is used in the sense of carrying someone away (after pillaging their village) or causing an incredible level of intense delight (https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/ravish ), it just doesn’t seem right or maybe a better word, considering Spurgeon’s roots – proper.
But maybe that is precisely what is missing from Christianity today. We are missing a sense of the incredible idea of being raptured ( a synonym), not in the sense of eschatology. Instead, in the sense that as we realize we are loved by God, everything else is left behind, that the delight, the joy, the wonder of being loved transform where we are, and it is no longer the place we thought we were.
You see that kind of sentiment in the great preachers and saints throughout history. John Chrysostom, Pascal, Saint Theresa, St Josemaria, Luther, all expressed that kind of experience, as they experienced the love of God. It is what mystics search after, these moments of transcendence, these moments of uncontrollable, heavenly bliss.
It is only from dwelling in that love that we can minister to others. It is the only hope we have when we have been broken by the sin of the world and shattered by our own sin. To let our soul be ravished by the love of God, as He takes us out of the brokenness, transforming us and giving us a new perspective on the world in which we dwell.
The world we dwell in, as we live in Him, and He in us. Completely loved and adored, beyond our imagination, beyond our understanding. Rather than trying to figure it out, perhaps it is better to acknowledge it, and the peace we gain from His presence. The Lord loves you! And even as you find delight in that, the realization should hit you, He delights in it as well!
C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 34.