Thursday, September 5, 2013

Is God's Love Better Than Life?

By Kristen Leigh Evensen
Right now, think of three good gifts that God has given you.
What comes to my mind immediately are the people He has led me to know, the daily blessings of food and drink that I never lack, and my church.

And I could probably write down twenty more without even stopping to ponder very long.

Life is full of blessings from the Father. He delights to give His children good gifts (Matthew 7:11). He is Creator, and therefore created everything we see and know (Romans 11:36). All gifts are intended for His glory.

But there is a warning here.

I just started reading A Hunger For God by John Piper, and one chapter in, the Spirit is convicting me so deeply that many of God's good gifts can quickly become substitutes for Himself. In paraphrase of Piper, we nibble at the table of the world so frequently that our hunger for God is dulled. Dulled by the good gifts that He created for His ultimate glory.

David, in Psalm 63, pens:

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.

3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.

My sisters, can we say the same? Is the Lord's steadfast love better than life, itself? Better than every good and perfect gift from the Father of lights (James 1:17)? Would we be willing to sacrifice any good gift if it meant knowing the Lord more deeply, more intimately?

I pray that as our challenge today, but also as our encouragement. What an opportunity to come before the Lord of all creation and pray, "Search me, O God, and know my heart!" My prayer for us all is that we would humble ourselves in submission to Him, ask genuinely to know Him more, and then respond to whatever He asks of us, in love and for His own glory. 

May the cry of our hearts today be "Lord, Your love is better than life!"

Heavenly Father, Your love is unmatched. Yet, all things were created to reflect You and for Your holy purposes. We confess that Your good gifts dull our hunger for You. Show us our hearts, our sin, so we may desire only You. We praise You for the love of Christ, that surpasses all created things, and saved us when we believed in faith. 

Amen. 

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