“Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love.”
“and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness.”
“I made my vow to you.”
“I entered into a covenant with you.”
“you became mine. “
Love comes without many things: a set of rules, conditions, or inhibitions.
“I read the story of a young bugle boy and a soldier. They both served in the army during the Boer war. The bugle-boy, Willie Holt, was 12 years old when he was assigned to a tent with seven godless soldiers.. One of these men was Bill. However, unlike Bill, Willie was a devoted believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. Each night he knelt by his bed to silently pray and read his Bible.
“…a thief had been traced to the tent where Willie and Bill had been assigned. In a desperate attempt to trace the criminal, the Colonial issued his ultimatum to the whole company: …I will give the culprit one last opportunity to identify himself and take his punishment like a man. If he does not respond every man in the company will be punished with ten lashes of the whip upon bis back. But, if one of you comes forward to take the punishment, the rest will be spared.”
“After intense silence, Willie stood to attention, ‘I will be that man.'” With anger the Colonial cried out against the unknown coward; ‘how can you let an innocent lad take your punishment?’ No one moved.
“True to his word, the Colonial ordered Willie’s back to be bared, and then the cruel lashes of the whip commenced.””As Willie fainted beneath the bitter blows, suddenly Bill, unable to bear the spectacle any longer, rushed from the ranks and shouted, ‘Stop, I am the thief, I will take my own punishment.'” “…Willie tenderly lifted his eyes to Bill and whispered, ‘It’s alright Bill, the Colonel can’t go back on his word now. I will take all your punishment. And he did!”
“Young Willie never did recover after the effects of his lashing. But before Willie went to heaven, Bill, now a broken man, wept at his bedside and asked, Why Willie, why did you do it for me?” “I’m not worth it.” “Bill, he said, I have often tried to tell you how much God loves you but you always laughed.” ” I thought that if I took your punishment, it might help you to understand how much Jesus loved you when He went to the cross to take your place and to die for your sin.”
1 John 3:16 Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” Before Willie went to heaven, Bill accepted the salvation so freely offered by a loving Christ.”
Story from “Your Quest for God” by Richard A. Bennett
Love so deep and un-discernible, takes us out of ourselves. But it’s reality creates a trance-like state in us. Like Peter in Acts 10, and Paul in Acts 22, our focus enhances, uninhibited, we perceive the love of God. Shame may surface, but ecstasy follows, as when God turned the captivity of Zion.
“When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. ” Psalm 126:1-3
“Hereby know we love, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:16