FOURTH LENS: REDEMPTION
The glory and qualities of first love
Matthew 22:37 - Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
There is a great treasure waiting for us; to know the Father and the Son Jesus Christ (John 17:3). It is costly to pursue this treasure. It takes time, hard pursuit (the word to cling in Hebrew; Deuteronomy 30:20), and sacrifice (resetting priorities); however, this treasure is the greatest pleasure available to the human heart.
Jesus stated that the greatest commandment was to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. I have often wondered how anyone can love this way? Then I realised this is the way the Father loves the Son and the Son loves the Father and finally how God loves us. There is glory in this love and I want to ask God to reveal the qualities of this first love of Jesus to understand His glory. The qualities of Jesus first love are the treasures of His heart. These treasures are internal and hidden but Jesus revealed the treasures of His heart in many events.
Born of a Virgin:
The Father and Jesus hovered over the void and spoke the cosmos into being (John 1:1; Genesis 1:2). To help you imagine the majesty of the creation of the heavens and earth have a look at this video:
If you can’t see the majesty of the creation and therefore the heart and glory of God behind the creation, ask this question: why did God who has the power to create the majesty of the cosmos place Himself in the womb of a virgin?
Jesus’ heart was ruptured on the cross (Psalm 22:14) and the treasures of His heart were poured out for all to see. Let me explain. What held Jesus to the cross? He said He was God so the nails could not hold Him. He could come down from the cross anytime. It was His love for you and me that held Him to the cross. It took the rupturing of His heart on the Cross so that all could see His glorious love poured out for us. Lord, open my eyes in wonder at Your goodness!
The Father has promised Jesus that He will have a bride lovesick with a love that mighty waters cannot quench (Song of Solomon 8:7; Matthew 22:1). There is a glorious inheritance waiting for the bride because Jesus was raised from the dead. This glorious inheritance is another treasure of the Father's heart. The saints will be resurrected like Jesus, have glorified and immortal bodies and be one with Jesus (John 17:21). Lord, open my eyes in wonder at the glory of this promise! How can we capture a picture of this glorious treasure of the Father’s heart in mere words? “Our resurrected bodies will be perfect, incorruptible, spiritual (because they will be upheld by the Spirit of God), and glorious. Our souls will be freed from all spiritual evils, possibility of sin and all apprehension of God’s wrath. We will bear the image of God in a perfect way, the will shall be fully satisfied with God, the conscience filled with peace and the affections of love and joy shall have their full content”
John and Shirley Ray have been married for 44 years have two children, a son-in-law and a granddaughter. They have both retired from careers in science. John’s career ended as Principal Scientist in health and Shirley spent time in education and University management. They became Christians in their early thirties and spent most of their early journey of faith in the Sydney Anglican Diocese. They led small groups, participated in evangelism and Shirley continues her work in women’s prisons ministry. In 2010 John and Shirley visited the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (U.S.A.) during the awakening that was occurring at the time. This was a time of substantial transformation with personal encounters with Jesus, visions, dreams, release of spiritual gifts and prophetic direction. John and Shirley were called into the global prayer movement (Malachi 1:11) and in much of this blog they share the many lessons God has taught them over the last nine years. They continue as intercessors, watchman and forerunners as they have been called by God and have a prayer room in their home. They are the authors of the Watchmen, Intercessor, Forerunner blog.