Father in Heaven! You have loved us first, help us never to forget that You are love so that this sure conviction might triumph in our hearts over the seduction of the world, over the inquietude of the soul, over the anxiety for the future, over the fright of the past, over the distress of the moment. But grant also that this conviction might discipline our soul so that our heart might remain faithful and sincere in the love which we bear to all those whom You have commanded us to love as we love ourselves.
You have loved us first, O God, alas! We speak of it in terms of history as if You have only loved us first but a single time, rather than that without ceasing You have loved us first many things and every day and our whole life through. When we wake up in the morning and turn our soul toward You – You are the first – You have loved us first; if I rise at dawn and at the same second turn my soul toward You in prayer, You are there ahead of me, You have loved me first. When I withdraw from the distractions of the day and turn my soul toward You, You are the first and thus forever. And yet we always speak ungratefully as if You have loved us first only once.
– Søren Kierkegaard
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
This past weekend at Eastbrook we had a wonderful celebration of the resurrection. My message for the services was based out of Matthew 28:1-10.
You can watch the message here. If you would like to access other messages or message series, please visit the Eastbrook web-site, download the Eastbrook app, or access our audio podcast.
I continued our series “Jesus Changes Everything” this weekend at Eastbrook Church by looking at what it means to have wide love like God. I cannot think of a better way to get at what God’s wide love looks like than to look at Jesus, who is “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
You can watch the message here or subscribe to our audio podcast, following along with the outline below. You can also follow the entire series at our web-site.
If you’re interested in getting to know us more at Eastbrook, please take a moment to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Vimeo. You could also join our community by downloading the Eastbrook app.
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As I have been blogging this week about love, I cannot help but come back to Jesus’ summation of the life with God as one of love. He said it this way:
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength…You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:28-34 (ESV)
Love is foundational to our life with God. When I began to fall in love with a young lady in college it changed my life. However, the relationship went to a completely different level when I understood that young lady also was in love with me. Knowing her love eventually took me to the place where I one day asked her to marry me, and my life with Kelly is probably the best thing that has happened to me outside of knowing Christ. This is similar to our life with God. It is one thing to want to know God. But everything changes when we understand just how great God’s love is for us. Knowing His love for us can take us to the place where our own lives become a response of love back to Him.Read More »
During my college years, I took a trip to the mountains of Honduras to help install a gravity-fed water system in three villages. Working alongside the local people, we dug channels, laying PVC piping in long circuits from the tops of the mountains down to each village. Why did we do this? The water they were drinking was not pure. It was tainted with many contaminants which led to widespread disease and malnutrition within the children.
What we needed to do was get access to pure water for these villages. So, we went up the mountains to the source. We found a spring that flowed pure and uncontaminated. And it was from that source that pure, uncontaminated water flowed into the lives of these people.
In his letter to an early church, the Apostle John wrote these words:
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. (1 John 4:7)
Here, John reminds us that if we want to know and experience true love in our lives, we must find its source. In God, we find the source of pure, uncontaminated love. He is the source of love in this world.
So, in all of our seeking after love, we must come and drink from the source. We must drink deep of the love of God if we want to live.
[This is a continuation of this week’s theme of “Beginning to Live with Love.”]