Nick Jones

God, Life, Religion

Tag: God

Banner of Love

banquet“He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.”
-Bride, Song of Solomon 2:4

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 Whenever I read this, I’m reminded of a song I grew up singing:

He brought me to His banqueting table, his banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table, his banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table, his banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

Maybe you’ve sung the song as well and as you read the words of the song find yourself humming along.

When I read this, I found myself questioning God, “When did I stop remembering You are Love?” It’s easy to go through life forgetting that God actually loves me. When I’m faced with adversity, I end up questioning God’s love. When I’m faced with pain, I question God’s love. When I’m faced with conflict, I question God’s love.

The love of God is one of those things we take for granted. I would say it’s because we don’t see God, face to face,  on a regular basis. However, we even take the love of people we see face to face for granted. So that can’t be the reason.

I think the reason we forget the love of God is because we lack that same love. When we have a conflict with someone, it’s very difficult to love them. When we find ourselves in pain because of something someone else did, we struggle to love them. Our inability to love others in hard times inhibits our ability to recognize God’s love in hard times.

So the question then becomes, how do we remember the love of God in those times? In a simple word, obedience. I know, tough word to swallow. Who really likes obedience? But here’s the thing; obedience to God reminds us of His love. Think about it, if we are in a conflict with another person and Matthew 5:23-24 comes to mind:

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Then do it. In the process of working out the conflict we realize that God loves and cares for us because He cares about our earthly relationships. When I forget God’s love, that’s the time I need to obey.

A Friend

friend

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” – James 4:8

One of my best friends is that dog in the picture above. One of the reasons he’s one of my best friends is that he loves me with an unconditional love that is hard to find among humans. I can be mad, sad, happy, or even any other mood and he is still happy to be with and around me.

How many human friends do you know that will want to be around you even in your worst mood? As I think about it, there aren’t very many of my friends that would want to be around me when I’m in a sour mood. Yet this dog doesn’t care. He may not like the mood I’m in, but he’s willing to sit it out, right beside me, and wait for me to get over whatever it is that’s putting me in that mood.

But not only that, this dog is always ready to go on a new adventure. Every time I put my running shoes on, he’s dancing around ready to run. Every time I start packing to go backpacking, as soon as I pull out his backpack, he begins to run around in circles because he knows there’s an adventure around the corner. Every time I head out the door and give him the look that he knows means he gets to go, he’s out the door and ready to hop in the car because the journey is starting. A friend is ready to travel on your adventure with you.

You know, my dog is somewhat like God. He loves me, He cares about me, He wants to be with me. God may not like the mood that I’m in, in fact, He may detest the mood I’m in, but He still cares for me and wants to be with me. He has an adventure and a journey for me that He wants to join me in. He’s got it all planned out, all I have to do is say, “Ok God, I’m ready. Let’s go.”

God is a true friend. James says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Eugene Peterson in The Message says it this way, “Say a quiet yes to God and [H]e’ll be there in no time.” I like that image of God. A true friend is one you can count on in your time of need, and in your time of greatest joy. A true friend is someone who wants to go with you on your adventures and cares for what happens to you. God is a true friend.

Is He your true friend?

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