1 John 4:1-21
Several years ago, a good friend and brother introduced me to a book of Puritan prayers entitled The Valley Of Vision. Carol and I have found in these prayers, written in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a depth of devotion and heart not heard very often in our day. Today's reading of 1 John 4 and its discussion of God's perfect love for His children and our appropriate response to Him and one another, seemed an excellent time to introduce a prayer from a brother in Christ written about 500 years ago. I hope and pray this prayer ministers to your soul and stirs your desire to pursue the One who describes Himself as love.
Give me to love thee, to embrace thee,
though I once took lust and sin in my arms.
Thou didst love me before I loved thee,
an enemy, a sinner, a loathsome worm.
Thou didst own me when I disclaimed myself;
Thou didst love me as a son,
and weep over me as over Jerusalem.
Love brought thee from heaven to earth,
from the earth to the cross,
from the cross to the grave.
Love caused thee to be
weary, hungry, tempted,
scorned, scourged, buffeted, spat upon,
crucified, and pierced.
Love led thee to bow thy head in death.
My salvation is the point where
perfect created love
and the most perfect uncreated love
for thou doest welcome me,
not like Joseph and his brothers,
loving and sorrowing, but loving and rejoicing.
This love is not intermittent, cold, changeable;
it does not cease or abate for all my eternity.
Holiness is a spark from thy love
kindled to a flame in my heart by thy Spirit,
and so it ever turns to the place
from which it comes.
Let me see thy love everywhere,
not only in the cross,
but in the fellowship of believers
and in the world around me.
When I feel the warmth of the sun
may I praise thee who art the Sun of righteousness
with healing power.
When I feel the tender rain
may I think of the gospel showers
that water my soul.
When I walk by the riverside
may I praise thee for that stream that makes
the eternal city glad, and washes white my robes
that I may have the right to the tree of life.
Thy infinite love is a mystery of mysteries,
and my eternal rest lies
in the eternal enjoyment of it.
Worship Song of the Day - Lord, I Lift Your Name On High.