(Construction Signs: The main construction is here, but the construction workers and equipment are still here to finish finessing the fine details........ sorry for any distractions along the way........, but I wanted to get this out for anyone wanting to start getting ready for Valentine's Day early this year...........)
Oh, yes, it is time for a mighty ode.........
A POWERFUL ODE, not so much to Valentine's Day - - - But
A POWERFUL ODE:
TO A SEASON OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE POWER OF TRUE LOVE.....
In this age when the raging conflict between the prince and the dragon streams before us in vivid technicolor, spectacularly arrayed as never before imagined; there is a growing sense among mere mortals, that if mankind were to simply stop their bustle, even just barely long enough to see past their pericardia, that they would hear in the rustling winds of the change of time, an invitation, and a very conspicuous invitation at that, for it has been sent out, not by just anyone, and not to just anyone, - - - and not to just someone. Rather, it has been sent from utter supremacy, yet apportioned out specifically-generally (or is that generally-specifically) to Everyman.
It is in truth a royal invitation:
With whom? Besides, can TRUE LOVE even be found?!
Oh my, yes! Absolutely!
Where could such certainly come from? From the nature of the invitation itself......
But more on that some other time..........
What of this TRUE LOVE? The question is all straightforward enough: Who can find it!??
However, as it turns out, the answer becomes more intriguing:
It has been decreed that utterly anyone who believes in TRUE LOVE can find it.......
........ and who doesn't really and truly believe in TRUE LOVE........
Those who might like to take a stroll on the same side of the street as Mr. Scrooge (as a young businessman), might rebuff the notion that Everyman has in inherent, desperate yearning for TRUE LOVE.
However, reasoning proves the case: Who isn't born with a sense of the great virtue of TRUE LOVE? After all, what child doesn't sense injustice when TRUE LOVE doesn't rule all? And furthermore, how could there be great virtue in something that does not exist?
........ who doesn't believe in it with a great hunger, a truly desperate hunger - way, way, way down in the depths of their heart of hearts!?
Come as a child, yet again, to the dream of finding true love......
Now, yes, now is the time to find it! No, ..... let's state that a little more emphatically:
NOW IS THE BEST TIME OF ALL TO FIND, CELEBRATE, AND SHARE TRUE LOVE:
....... DURING THIS SEASON OF LOVE .............
Many of us have heard of it, but many have not realized it for what it is.........
Where do we see TRUE LOVE most clearly........., most nobly, ........ more concerned with protecting others........., with securing the beloved against the enemy........?
Of course, we see TRUE LOVE most clearly; aye, most poignantly, in the great, historic clash between good and evil, between the Prince and the Dragon........
Throughout all of the great epic tellings of this conflict one thing drives us all. There is a great pathos, a great and desperate hungering for the power of TRUE LOVE to touch us and heal us from wrong done to us by a great enemy.
This pathos is not only ingrained in us, we seek, as much as we are ever able, to suppress it deep down in our inmost being. In spite of our best efforts to suppress our sense of need, that pathos made itself heard throughout the ages through all of the various tales of conflicts between the Prince and the Dragon.
In spite of our attempts to veil ourselves from the desperate emptiness, that desperate, desperate, yes, utterly desperate hungering has cried out to our heart in form after form anyway. And oh, how that heart cry has played itself out in tale after epic tale! A few of those epic forms have been authored in powerful terms, in forms we all embrace - as they express the reasonable nature of that desperate heart cry, which seems, at least for a short time, to bring some amount of comfort to us. Those of us who have not had the eloquence to express the pathos of our need in such epic ways, have merely trudged on, groaning under the weight of the desperate need: the need to understand, receive, and bask in the power of TRUE LOVE.
And the greatest of those epic tales is that conflict which is being played out between Christ and the great serpent - an epic conflict which mankind bore witness of in great part - - - at the cross......
Oh, for the prince to have simply destroyed the dragon!
But that would not have sufficed! That would not have demonstrated the incredible nature of TRUE LOVE. (Nor would it have met the desperate needs of the prince's beloved kingdom......... but that is getting ahead of things........ )
As for this matter of dmonstrating the incredible nature of TRUE LOVE. It, is after all, on the cross, that Jesus demonstrated most clearly what TRUE LOVE really is:
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Back on that most horrible day, back when the prince and the dragon met at the cross, back when the utterly unthinkable horrors of the worst nightmares came to life! Back when the dragon slayed the prince, those who knew the prince and trusted Him even more looked on in horror!
How could this have ever even come close to happening? What had gone wrong? How could the dragon have prevailed? Was it not true that TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ALL after all? Was it all a lie?
Ode to the bitter pain they felt. Their beloved prince was slain.
Who else could possibly face the dragon now? What hope could there possibly be in stopping the forces of evil from taking over absolutely, utterly everything - destroying everything in its path?
What they did not realize was that they were in much greater peril than their prince was in - even when their prince was in the midst of all of the pain and darkness and emptiness and utter disgrace and isolation of death,
One day they would finally realize; one day they would understand that there was only one antidote to the poison of sin in their lives, and that their devoted, courageous, heroic, powerful, glorious, and yes, their compassionate, tender, and loving prince knew it! They had taken in a poison for which there was only one antidote.
Slaying the dragon wouldn't have ever produced an antidote to the poison. But for a prince who loved His people so incredibly much, an antidote had to be obtained.
There had to be an antidote for the poison for the prince to save His beloved from death.
you, and for everyone who had mistaken the weapons of the enemy, for everyone who had chosen to drink the poison called sin.
Jesus, in a fashion opposite to our great hunger for the Prince to simply Slay the dragon - - - rather than slaying the dragon, did the unimaginable......
Why did He not simply slay the dragon? Because He is not merely the king!
Jesus is the one who wears the Crown of Love, and He was in a position in which no one understood the nature of the Crown of Love. If He simply slayed the dragon, no one would have ever understood the nature of the love behind that crown.
Of course, the serpent didn't see that coming. He never understood love in the first place. And in so many ways, we are like him - we could not understand the nature of TRUE LOVE either - not until it was demonstrated with such glorious self-sacrifice.
Yes, when the prince died, the great serpent thought that he had won! But, that wasn't really what happened. Rather, Jesus loved us so very much that He chose to pay the price for our sin.
Sin? Oh, yes, it was a terrible weapon used upon us by our most vicious enemy - the serpent!
When we embraced the serpent's lies, we also embraced his most potent weapon. It was pure poison. We took death into ourselves! The only possible outcome from that poison was death!
Death was a price we could pay, but it was a price that we could only pay in finality. We could never recover from such a judgment.
Jesus had the antidote for the poison we took. Jesus chose to not only be God, but to wear the glorious Crown of Love. In love, He took on our death. In love, He bore our death. In love, He took on the task of conquering death.
Once He conquered death, He also conquered evil. The outcome is decided. The conquering force of the one who wears the Crown of Love is proven already. Yes, there are still skirmishes out and about, and perhaps the serpent still thinks he might find a way to win (if not, he wants to create as much trouble as he can while he still has any room to wiggle).
But whatever it is that the serpent believes, it is clear that Jesus overcame every evil plan of that serpent when, in three days, He rose from the dead.
He conquered evil and death - and is marching forward towards His full triumph as we speak!!!
More than that, He wants to share with you all of the power over evil, all of the power over death, that He established as final.
Those of us who have joined Him on His march to glory! Those of us who have joined Him on His way? We are already celebrating the fulness of His glory which is to come!
But we have not been celebrating as fully as we ought to have been!!!!! It is time for a change!
It is time for the beloved to establish a great celebration of TRUE LOVE.
It is time for the beloved to clarify to the world what TRUE LOVE really is.
It is time for the beloved to realize the riches of the gift of TRUE LOVE bestowed upon us (hint, read the psalm study below to find out more.......).
It is time for the beloved to CELEBRATE TRUE LOVE TOGETHER.
It is time for the beloved to draw in the hearts of those who are dying for lack of love, .......
It is time to help them join in the celebration of LIVING A LIFE OF TRUE LOVE TOGETHER.
No, living a life of true love together is not easy. But the conquering force of TRUE LOVE can help us oust any force that raises its head against us!
We need have no fear!
We have the greatest hero of all! The Crown of Love is His. The glory of that crown is His.
The joy of the conquering power of love.........
.............. is His to share..........
...................He is offering the joy of the conquering power of love to you right now.....
........in the midst of conflict swirling about in your heart, in your life, in the lives of those you love, it does require courage to hold to faith in the conquering hero!
But he will conquer, have no doubts about that.
And when He does, the celebration in His kingdom will have no end!
In the meantime, the forces of evil are gathering against the one who bears the Crown of Love.
In the meantime, the forces of evil do all that they can to send confusion through the land.
In the meantime, the forces of evil do all that they can to confuse anyone and everyone possible.........,
.............to bring confusion about what it is that makes up good, and what makes up evil.......
Why would they do anything to confuse those in the land? Why would they stir up confusion about what is good and what is evil? Why would they bring in any confusion about who is good and who is evil?
So that those in the land might not recognize the enemy for what it is! A terrible force for evil seeking utter destruction of anything and everything good!
Furthermore, they bring in any and all confusion about who and what is good, and who and what is evil, so that those in the land might not recognize the conquering hero for who He is! The one who will bring promised peace to the land again!
Oh, yes, mankind has prided himself with the ability to discern good and evil for himself for a good long while........, yet many today are brought under the power of deception - and at their own peril!
The forces of evil are well practiced in their arts of foolery. They have successfully brought great confusion into the land in every way possible........
..................in order to bring doubt into the hearts of those who long to see TRUE LOVE CONQUER ALL.
There is no need to doubt.
There is no need to be confused.
There is no need to back down.
Bleaker days might even be ahead for some of us, but in the end, the 'rising' forces of evil.........
........the 'rising' forces of evil..............
........the 'rising' forces of evil................
.......................................will be brought low.
They are doomed.
The final celebration may not have begun in full earnest, but there is still reason to celebrate today!
It is time to be celebrating the conquering hero: the one who wears The Crown of Love.
For yes, TRUE LOVE CONQUERS ALL!
.......................will you listen to the truth of the promise of love today? Will you put your faith in the one who wears conquering crown: The Crown of Love?
Will you embrace, and receive, and celebrate, TRUE LOVE today?
Will you share it with others, ........... as He shared TRUE LOVE 2000 years ago?
If so, come on in. The celebration has already begun! It will become a greater celebration one day, but there is no need to wait for the full celebration to be encouraged by the conquering power of TRUE LOVE.
Please do come in............... there is a place ready, just for you.............
Is that you????????
So you've come on in???????????
So, you've decided to stop in and see how the celebrations are going?
Oh! I'm so glad you have come!
May I help you off with your coat and offer some refreshments......,
Oh, and yes, you can feel free to take off your mask whenever you are good and ready (yes, shhhhh, the mask won't fit in when you get really involved in the celebration........but......)
In the meantime, feel free to keep it on. We'll all understand....... we've been there.......
Oh, and on the way to the celebration, to help prepare you for what is to come, please read the particulars about this invitation below.........
Then share it with others, and draw them into THE CELEBRATION OF THE AGES.......
THE CELEBRATION OF TRUE LOVE.......
Of course, after you join us, we hope you will invite others to join you too!
Open up the grand CELEBRATION OF TRUE LOVE to others in your own home or community, inviting them to come in and learn of
THE JOY AND GLORY
WHICH IS THEIRS, IF THEY SIMPLY ACCEPT THE CONQUERING POWER OF TRUE LOVE........, yes, in the midst of conflict.......,
............believing in theconquering power of true love???....... yes, that is called faith.......
Will you accept it today?
............... in your own life? ........
You'll be so glad that you did.............
When you do, you will find that the love of the conquering hero truly is unfailing!
You will find yourself, as many have done in the past (and as many of us are doing today)........, yes, you will find yourself celebrating that unfailing love!
Here is the voice of one who already accepted the invitation! Can you hear him?
The same invitation is yours! Oh, do accept His invitation to the celebration of love today!
I, by your great love, can come into your house;...... Psalm 5:7a....
Oh, yes, do trust his love:
...I trust in your unfailing love; Psalm 13:5
Oh, do, please realize that His love surrounds us:
the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Psalm 32:10b
Then you too will value His love enough to share your appreciation of His love with Him. Can you hear the echoes of others who have been caught up in the joy and celebration of his love?
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Psalm 36:5
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Psalm 57:10
More than faithful! More than gracious!
Oh, wonder of wonders! Miracle of Miracles! His love is so great that He even offers to share the very glory of His crown, The Crown of Love, with each of us........
See here, how He is offering to share the very glory of His crown, The Crown of Love, with you.....:
... Who ... crowns you with love and compassion..... !!! Psalm 103:4
Then come along with us as we share His love with others:
I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness Psalm 40:10a
And together we will sing a love song to Him:
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16
And yes, love songs are two way - - - So listen carefully for His love song to you:
By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—..... Psalm 42:8a
Where you are weak, struggling, or need healing, seek, find; He will give you the strength and courage to accept His loving provision even in the midst of a struggling world:
But I pray to you, Lord, in the time of your favor; in your great love, O God, answer me with your sure salvation. Psalm 69:13
If you are feeling unsure about His promise to you, know that you are not alone. Cry out to Him and let Him know how you feel, but keep seeking Him - and you will find that everlasting love:
Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Psalm 77:8
Show us your unfailing love, Lord, ..... Psalm 85:7a
Know that the psalmist, in harmony with God's promises, found his way out of the mist; and yes, he truly found that God is still, and ever will be faithful:
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. Psalm 94:18
If, when you doubt, you stumble, be concerned to get back on course; but fear not, for He will lift you up! And then you will realize more and ever more of the immensity of the conquering power of True Love. Then, oh yes, even then, you will fall in love with God all over again...........:
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5
For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths............. Psalm 86:13a
Then you will celebrate having found His faithful love and peace - - a love that is established for all eternity, just as the psalmist and many others who love His name have done before us.......:
Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Psalm 85:10
I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Psalm 89:2
Join in with others who trust Him rather than placing their trust in man - join in with others who, once upon a time, believed in the fairy tale of 'faith in man'......., and who now place their faith solely in God, for certainly, there is no solid footing upon which one may stand when trusting man............:
God's conquering love will not fail. It is an unfailing love. Celebrate it today!
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalm 48:9
And invite others to join with the body of Christ as they trust Him forever, and trust in man.......never........
.....trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. Psalm 52:8b
He is, afterall, not a God of the past, but a loving God whose love continues through all generations.....
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5
Then keep on celebrating, forever and ever! ......singing of His love....
Yes, take time during the Celebration of TRUE LOVE, to prepare your heart to press on towards the high calling and......
.......sing of the Lord’s great love forever; (and) ..... make (His) faithfulness known through all generations. Psalm 89:1
Let each one of us say in our own hearts, then together as one voice:
.........I will sing of your love and justice; to you, Lord, I will sing praise. Psalm 101:1