Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
I John 4:9-11

We must never underestimate the power of love in our human relationships--whether marriages, family, business associations, or friendships. The divine love of God for mankind far excels all other forms of love.

"Love Divine..." is another of the more than 6,500 hymns by Charles Wesley, the "sweet bard of Methodism". This fine text, written in 1747, touches various elements of Christian doctrine. It extols the love of God as expressed in the incarnation of Christ. Then it refers to the concept of sanctification with the promise of rest as referred to in Hebrews 4:9. The "Alpha and Omega" of verse two (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) also reflect sanctification, that the experience of conversion and sanctification are thought of as the "beginning" of our faith and the "end result" of our faith; and our God, Who is that Alpha and Omega, is the beginning and ending...eternally God. The third stanza emphasizes the truth that the Spirit of God indwells the temple or body of the believer, while the fourth stanza anticipates the glorious culmination of our faith when "we cast our crowns before Thee, lost in wonder, love, and praise!" It should be every Christian's heart's desire to be sanctified--to grow in the grace & knowledge of our Lord, demonstrating in our daily walk His perfect love.

[JMS: this is a very special date for me, as it is the day in 1990 when I finally came to know Jesus as my personal Saviour from sin! If you would like to read my salvation testimony, click HERE. And I came to the point of salvation when I realized God loved me...ME...not just the whole world, but He died for me, for my sin to be washed away.... What a perfect time of year to celebrate His love!]

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of Heaven to Earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter ev'ry trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Nevermore Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in Heav'n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!

*For Today*: John 3:14-21; Philippians 1:6; Colossians 1:28; I John 3:11-24

God's love must dominate our hearts, minds, and wills. His love should be made evident by our moment by moment actions. Pray that this will become increasingly true in your life.

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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