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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Donegal Creek
Donegal Creek (Click on photo to enlarge)

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"God's Great Love"

"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us"  (Psalm 103:11,12).

RoxieWe are getting some beautiful spring days and are especially enjoying our daily walk along the country lane.  Last summer our dog, Roxie, overcame her fear of water and now enjoys walking through the shallow water in Donegal Creek.  Yesterday as we walked along she jumped right into the creek and climbed out on the other side toward a wooded area. She loves to check out the scents of small animals and often chases a rabbit, squirrel, or a bird but never catches them.  I think it's the chase more than the prey that she enjoys most!

Normally she crosses back over before we get to a fence but this time she ran along the other side of the fence line before crossing under, which was a bad decision since it turned out to be an activated electric fence!  As she ran under it she let out a screeching yelp and darted on ahead of us not having the slightest idea what happened and choosing not to look back.  The remainder of the walk she slouched low with her tail between her legs. We tried to reassure her but it took her quite awhile to get over it.

We understood what happened to her but of course she didn't.  It's that way with us at times isn't it? We get shocked by a situation in life and we have no idea what hit us nor do we understand why we were the enemy's target. You've probably heard or used the following expressions, "I don't know what hit me" or "Where did that come from?" I can recall experiences like this in my own life and I've observed them in others as well.  I have a friend who's going through one of these shocking experiences right now.

We can't predict or avoid these jolting experiences so that's why we need to have a deep abiding assurance of God's great love.

The daily verse is one of the greatest expressions in Scripture extolling God's love for us and His greatest redemptive work on our behalf.  Consider the two figures of speech the Psalmist uses in the text.

First he speaks of the greatness of God's love, "for those who fear Him" as being "as high as the heavens are above the earth."  How high is that?  In the Scriptures the expression "heavens" normally describes the universe as distinct from the earth.  But how big is the universe?  It seems this distance just keeps increasing with better telescopes and more research! 

The study of astronomy interests me, although most astronomers ignore God's revelation in the Scriptures.  Astronomer Dr. Robert Kirshner of Harvard University asserts: "The truth is out there, and we will find it."  The Psalmist, in describing the infinite nature of God's love and mercy, expresses the greatest truth. And sadly astronomers, looking in the wrong place, will never find this Truth!

Secondly, he speaks of the extent of God's forgiveness: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."  How far is that?  If he were to have written "north from the south" we could have measured the distance between the poles.  But how far is the east from the west? It is not something we can measure!  In His immeasurably great mercy that's how far He has removed our transgressions from us. 

The Psalmist provided God's greatest solution to life's greatest problem in this single verse.  He covers both the vertical and horizontal reaching of God's goodness to humankind.  The boundless capacity of God's love fills the vertical space from the heavens to the earth.  His limitless capacity for forgiveness stretches horizontally beyond the measurable scope of humankind.  Do we not serve a great God who is moved to action by our innermost needs!

May you be filled with the fullness of God as He reveals Himself to You through His unlimited love and ongoing forgiveness.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer: Omnipotent Father, Your immeasurable love and unending forgiveness are characteristics that only a God like You can dispense.  The gifts of the Spirit that we seek to implement in our lives such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are like prisms diffusing the brilliant light of Your holiness that shines forth through Your Holy Spirit in our lives.  As recipients of Your unending goodness may we be dispensers of Your multiple blessings to those You bring into our lives.  In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and
Supplemental Resources

"As Far As The East"  Audio from Integrity Music's Scripture Memory Songs. About fifteen years ago I memorized a lot of Scripture verses using these songs as a memory aid.

"East To West"  Video  Casting Crowns

"My Savior's Love"
  I have loved this old hymn since I was a young Christian.

"Your Love O Lord"  Audio

"The Love Of God"  Audio

"Only A God Like You"  Audio

Here's a video of Roxie we made last year jumping through the wheat field!

Info about multi-media files used on daily encouragement.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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