Rich and Pure

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1 John 4:1-10

1 The love of God is greater far
than tongue or pen can ever tell;
it goes beyond the highest star,
and reaches to the lowest hell.
The wand’ring child is reconciled
by God’s beloved Son.
The aching soul again made whole,
and priceless pardon won.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.

The lyricist grasped the intention of all-knowing God in the words of this beautiful hymn. Motivated by His love, God sent His Son – His only begotten Son to earth. What does begotten mean? It means of the same substance; in will and character, wisdom, power, and love Jesus is His Father in human form. His knowledge is perfect and all-encompassing – He is omniscient. Therefore it fascinates me that Jesus, knowing His end from His beginning as a human baby in the manger, knew He would face pain and suffering as well as rejection and ridicule. Yet He came!

So many people are seeking for meaning and purpose in their lives today. Jesus didn’t have that struggle. His earthly journey was set on course before the foundation of the earth. Born out of pure love, He faced His destiny for your sake and mine – as the lyricist said…He came to reconcile each wandering child to God.

Do you realize your destiny and mine have been shaped by Almighty God? We have been made in His image, given the capability to be as effective as He is, if and when we make Godly choices. Through Jesus Christ as our Lord we may be filled with the love of God which has been captured by the lyricist in our song. Rich and pure, God’s love flowing through us to others forms the basis of reconciliation. Those who truly love can be trusted, just as God is trustworthy! Gone are the problems of hatred, anger and revenge! Jesus, by coming to earth, has shown us the better way.

Our scripture cautions us to test every spirit (1 John 4:1) – the question is “Does love prevail?” If so, we know it is pure because “Everyone who loves has been born of God!” (1 John 4:7). There is security in love that is trustworthy! This is the promise of God, heart to heart: “This is love – not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins!” (:10). Sometimes we put the onus on the seeking person but that reverses the Divine order. “While we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8) God worked a miracle, drawing us to Himself through Jesus Christ our Lord! We cannot be bearers of Divine love without God at work in our lives.


Is there anything better to equip us for relationships with others, than the pure love of our heavenly Father? His love not only enriches our experience with others, but glorifies our perception of holy God!

Everyone who truly loves others “has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). The truth continues to reassure us: “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

by Marilyn Daniels (


Standing on Holy Ground

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Exodus 19:10-25

Moses was instructed by the Lord to prepare the people to meet with Him. God was in the business of restoration. “Now if you obey Me fully, and keep My covenant, then, out of all the nations you will be My treasured possession” (19:5). First He called them to remember the recent events which had brought them safely out of Egypt. God describes it: “I carried you on eagles wings, and brought you to Myself” (19:4). He had revealed His power by rescuing them from slavery, and now He becomes very personal. His plan is for a relationship. “Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom or priests and a holy nation” (19:6).

Many years before, God had made a covenant with their forefathers, beginning with Abraham and passing down the generations through Isaac and Jacob. Now He is about to renew His covenant. The offer is conditional -“If”. The people responded together: “We will do everything the Lord has said” (19:8). The stage was set. Moses, acting as the go-between, conveyed the Lord’s instructions to the people. In order to meet with this powerful Holy God they must purify themselves. Consecration involved rituals of physical cleanliness, including sexual abstinence, as well as being clothed in clean garments (19:10,15). This procedure is intended to “honour the Lord your God….who makes you holy” (Leviticus 20:7-8). As clean as we might try to be, it is God alone who can make us holy.

There were limits put upon the people – a boundary was established around Mount Sinai. “Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death” (19:12, 23). If God told us today that certain limits were to be observed, or else we would die, how seriously would we take His words? Yet His word clearly states “The soul who sins is the one who will die”. Our response to God must be personal…”The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son” (Ezekiel 18:20).

Habakkuk understood the holiness of God. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrong” (1:13). This is why His Holy Son, under the burden of the sins of the world cried from the cross “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46).

As the people gathered around Sinai, after three days of preparation, they were greeted by lightening and thunder! While a thick cloud covered the mountain, everyone trembled at loud blasts from a trumpet. Then the Lord descended in fire, while smoke billowed like smoke from a furnace. At last God had the attention of His people.

The Apostle Paul knew folks in his day needed to pay attention to God. He asked “How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing, the blood of the Covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” He warned “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!” (Hebrews 10:29-31).

The Hebrews, waiting before God at Mount Sinai were ready, consecrated, and committed to serving God in a Covenant relationship. They stood on Holy ground to receive their orders. Ten commandments became their rule of life. After Jesus’ death and resurrection we can reread these commandments as words of promise. There are no other gods. “I am the way, the truth and the life” Jesus declared. (John 14:6). Through Him God has shown the love He promised on that eventful day to His people at Sinai, promised to a thousand generations of those “who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exodus 20:6).


If we want to see God and to hear His voice in the intimacy of a holy relationship, we need to remove our sandals. They are dirty from walking through a sinful world. Jesus washed His disciples feet, as a symbol of service to Holy God. If we hope to witness to others about the gospel, we need to do so from a position of strength gained only from standing on Holy ground, having our feet “fitted with the readiness [commitment] that comes from the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15). Are you willing and ready to stand on Holy ground?

by Marilyn Daniels (