Numbers 34, Psalm 78:38-72, Isaiah 26, 1 John 4

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.

Lord Jesus,

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
     meet together;
     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 river side
     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