acceptance fulfillment

You are Loved

1:23 PMHeather

He brought me to the banqueting house, 
and his banner over me is love.
Song of Songs 2:4

When I was a little girl in Sunday school, we learned a song with these lyrics, "the Lord is mine and I am his, his banner over me is love." It's a catchy little tune that I heard again on repeat when my oldest son was a preschooler and infatuated with kids' praise videos. 

Last week, out of the blue, those words came back to me. But they found fresh soil in which to be planted as I realized their significance.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

His banner over us is love. It is not tolerating us, or putting up with us, or enduring us. His banner is not judgment or criticism or expectations or earning. It is nothing like the love we tend to box it into, based on our experience of love from other.

It is pure love.

Plain and simple. 

It's the heart of the gospel story. It's the root of the cross, that God loves us so much that he offered his own son to die in our place so that we could be made his children. 

Love motivated the Father. 

And his love for the Father motivated the son.

Yet, we walk through our days with uncertainty and anxiety and striving and weariness, chasing the love and approval that our souls crave.  

As my pastor, JR Vassar, says, until the opinion of the One who matters most becomes what matters most to us, we will be blown about by the waves of man's opinion. The truth is that we cannot properly fear and revere God when we are preoccupied with fear and reverence for man's approval. To whom will we bow?

It's a losing endeavor to seek the complete love and adoration and praise of man. Do we not see this in the the headlines with those who seemed to have it all? Yet, they died by suicide. Even the highest praise we might earn from others is empty and fleeting. The disapproval of others can be crushing.

But none of this is eternal. To seek acceptance and approval from other broken and flawed men is clinging to worthless idols, and that forces us to forfeit the grace that could be ours (Jonah 2:8).

Grace from our Heavenly Father, the Almighty God, the Ancient of Days, the King of Kings, the Eternal One, the Alpha and Omega, the Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Faithful and True, Sovereign God. 

Who declared loudly, boldly and with utter and endless power, echoing through an empty tomb --

                                          My banner over you is love.

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