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Love Beyond Counting

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
January 8, 2024 7:00 pm

Love Beyond Counting

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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January 8, 2024 7:00 pm

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Those words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese are among the best-known poetry in the English language. She wrote them to Robert Browning before they were married, and he was so moved he encouraged her to publish her entire collection of poems. But because the language of the sonnets was very tender, out of a desire for personal privacy Barrett published them as if they were translations from a Portuguese writer.

Sometimes we can feel awkward when we openly express affection for others. But the Bible, by contrast, doesn’t hold back on its presentation of God’s love. Jeremiah recounted God’s affection for His people with these tender words: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3). Even though His people had turned from Him, God promised to restore them and personally draw them near. “I will come to give rest to Israel,” He told them (v. 2).

Jesus is the ultimate expression of God’s restorative love, giving peace and rest to any who turn to Him.  From the manger to the cross to the empty tomb, He’s the personification of God’s desire to call a wayward world to Himself. Read the Bible cover to cover and you’ll “count the ways” of God’s love over and over; but eternal as they are, you’ll never come to their end.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I'm James Banks and I titled today's reading, Love Beyond Counting. How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways. Those words from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnets from the Portuguese are among the best known poetry in the English language. She wrote them to Robert Browning before they were married, and he was so moved that he encouraged her to publish her entire collection of poems.

But because the language of the sonnets was very tender, out of a desire for personal privacy, Barrett published them as if they were translations from a Portuguese writer. Sometimes we can feel awkward when we openly express affection for others, but the Bible, by contrast, doesn't hold back on its presentation of God's love. Jeremiah recounted God's affection for his people with these tender words in Jeremiah chapter 31 verse 2. I have loved you with an everlasting love.

I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Even though his people had turned from him, God promised to restore them and personally draw them near. I will come to give rest to Israel, he told them. Jesus is the ultimate expression of God's restorative love, giving peace and rest to any who turn to him. From the manger to the cross to the empty tomb, he's the personification of God's desire to call a wayward world to himself. Read the Bible cover to cover, and you'll count the ways of God's love over and over.

But eternal as they are, you'll never come to their end. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Jeremiah chapter 31 verses 1 through 6. At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.

This is what the Lord says. The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness. I will come to give rest to Israel.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again and you virgin Israel will be rebuilt. Again, you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. Again, you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria.

The farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim. Come, let us go up to Zion to the Lord, our God. Let's pray together. Abba, Father, thank you for loving us so fully and personally. Help us to love you with our lives today. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thank you for listening today. My name is James Banks, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-08 21:33:15 / 2024-01-08 21:34:53 / 2

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