05
APR
2019

The Beauty of the Ashes: The Greatest Force In the World

The Greatest Force In the World

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Romans 8:35 NRSV

The love of God is the greatest force in all the world, because it is the very essence of His being. St. John tells us this in his first letter, “…God IS love,” (1 John 4:16 emphasis added). John goes on to say that to live in God is to live in love. The problem in our world is, too many people ‘believe’ in God, when not enough actually ‘live’ in Him.

When we who believe in God, actually begin to live in Him, we change the world. It took less than three hundred years to convert the Roman Empire to Christianity; and that was with no mass media whatsoever. What began as a small band of radical Jews in a far-off unimportant corner of the Empire spread like a wild fire out of control. The fuel of the fire was the love of God that was poured out through those who called themselves Christian, those who chose to live out the mystery of participating in the life of God in Jesus Christ.

The love of God is the greatest force in all the world, because it is the very essence of His being.

You and I have that same choice to make today. The choice isn’t to just believe in Jesus Christ as Messiah, but to realize that He is God and has given His life, His love, His all for and to us. And, a part of that ‘all’ is that we may partake of His divine life, empowering us to live a life of unparalleled love for everyone, even our enemies.

Today, on this Lenten Friday, as you look upon the cross of Jesus and view His tortured, bleeding body, think about His love. Think about His goodness. Why not meditate on these words from songwriter Don Moen:

Think about His love, think about His goodness
Think about His grace that’s brought us trough
For as high as the heavens above
So great is the measure of our father’s love
Great is the measure of our Father’s love
So great is the measure of our Father’s love 

The cross of Christ… what love! Now that is turning ashes into beauty!

Listen to the full song here:

Shalom for a Holy Lent,

Pastor Brad

Image credit: https://philadelphiabapt.org/tlof-because-god-is-love/

About the Author
Brad is Associate Pastor of Wichita First Church of the Nazarene, and the founder of the Merciful Servants of Christ, a spiritual formation teaching ministry of Brad Riley Ministries.
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      Thanks for your question and the encouragement! I always read a little about the subject I am writing about before I begin. Just to sort of get the thoughts and juices flowing so to speak. In this devotional series I begin each day reading the scriptures appointed through the Revised Common Lectionary for that day and see where the Lord takes me. One of the verses speaks to me about something and I try to tie it back to what I’m learning through this Lenten season of prayer and fasting. I figure if I write about what I’m learning, others may learn from it too.

      Many Blessings!

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