Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NLT)
Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.
Our youngest child loves her mama with a jealous love. With new innovations in technology, our clingy little girl can now go spend the night with friends and still stay connected with her mommy which is a daily requirement. Each night that she is away at a friend’s house, my phone will ring with a “FaceTime” request. Once accepted, the camera on her device and my phone allow us to see each other and say, “Good night” and “I love you!” I was not surprised last night when the phone began to buzz around 10:00 PM. My oldest daughter jumped in bed between her dad and me to tease her baby sister that she got to “cuddle” with mom and dad taking her spot. This did not go over well and our little one abruptly disconnected the call. What was only a little joke turned into an hour of consoling as our daughter now wanted to come home missing mommy too much to spend the fun-filled Saturday with her friend as planned. She needed reassurance. Her love for me is a jealous love that she was literally born with. She struggles with anyone else in close proximity. It was probably the most difficult for her when I was away for three long months caring for her brother who had cancer. She is very connected to me. Long separations cause great anxiety because of her emotional bond. God loves us with that kind of love. He is a jealous God who loves us most and requires that we do the same. Jesus called us to love others more than ourselves but never more than our Father.
“For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame!” Solomon depicts love picturesquely in his words allowing the reader to see the brightness of its reflection and completeness of its confirmation. God wants to see your heart with love this powerful and passionate. He wants everyone to know that He is YOUR OWN PERSONAL God. But His Possessive nature is not as the world views jealous love, but the descriptive word is derived from the Latin word meaning “zealous”. This is important as jealous love can have negative connotations. God loves us jealously in that He demands our exclusive loyalty. He is possessive and watchful in maintaining and protecting His Loved Ones with the utmost care and concern. It is impossible for God to be suspicious because He knows everything even whether we really love Him or not. Grace removes God’s resentment completely replacing it with compassion, tenderness and unfailing love so this definition of jealousy would not apply either. God does not fear the rivalry of another because one day every person will face Him and the record will be set straight. He is the One and Only Sovereign God whose love is matchless. So if we use the definition of zealous in place of jealous – we begin to see the full picture of God’s consuming love. God loves us actively, diligently, filled and inspired with zeal and committed to the deepest devotion. God’s Love does not burn us up but rather totally envelopes us in His Love, Mercy and Grace. His Ardent Love is passionate, fiery, fierce, enthusiastic and intense. All that God asks of His People is that we would love Him the same way.
Exodus 20:5-6 (NLT)
You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
God delineates exactly what He expects of those who love Him. He laid it all out in the beginning and has not changed His Mind. Jesus Christ provided the grace that we needed to effectively love the Lord despite our inability to remain faithful. I do not have that kind of grace in my marriage. When we agreed to marry, it was made very clear that I would not tolerate any infidelity in our union (including looking, touching, communicating). His heart belonged to me and the only way to give it to another was to take it back. Thankfully I married someone who loved the same way. Wouldn’t it be great if each marriage began with a set of rules and expectations for each partner? One provision might be “thou shall not talk while Monday night football is on” or “thou shall never tell me the truth concerning my appearance” or “thou will make the bed every morning” or “thou will squeeze the toothpaste tube from the bottom’. Simple guidelines to love and marriage with human expectations set forth from the very beginning. No such luck, but we do have the Word of God and following the contents line by line will in fact bring health and wellness to your marital relationship. All the little things are just consequential details and as we know “love covers a multitude of sins.” God has said from the very beginning you must love and worship me. I will not tolerate your affection for other Gods. The Blood of Jesus Christ did not provide enough grace for willful rebellion, but more than enough to cover our sins as we truly repent and turn our heart back to the Lord. I must take a moment to thank God for all the praying grandmothers and grandfathers of days gone by. Their commitment to loving God, serving God and worshipping God have allowed us to experience the lavish unfailing love that He promised to a thousand generations. Have you been faithful to your first love or are you simply experiencing the unfailing love promised to the previous generation? God is focused on securing your love for Him before you meet Him face-to-face!
Exodus 34:14 (NLT)
You must worship no other gods, for the LORD, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you.
What are the “other gods” in your life? What is holding you back from experiencing the jealous (zealous) Love of God? Anything that gets more of your time and attention would definitely qualify. What consumes your thoughts? Who do you desire to please the most? How do you feel when others use the Lord’s Name in vain or attempt to discredit His Existence much less Presence in your life? Are you possessive and watchful in maintaining your relationship with the Lord or is it merely a Sunday and Wednesday commitment? Do you spend more time in the gym than in prayer? The gods in our life require our time and attention. So whatever you spend the most time thinking about, working on, or doing may just be the god you worship the most. The Lord is jealous demanding exclusive loyalty and zealous as He ardently, actively and devotedly loves you with all diligence. The direction of your energy will reveal the destination of one’s heart. Wherever your heart is there your treasure is also. The Lord is jealous of His Relationship with you and quite possessive. “So be careful not to break the covenant the LORD your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the LORD your God has forbidden this. The LORD your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God.” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24) Do you feel the same what about Jesus?
Romans 11:11-12 (NLT)
Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it.
God’s Chosen People are the Nation of Israel. God made salvation available to the Gentiles to rouse the jealousy of His Own People. It roused their jealousy alright so much so that they killed His One and Only Son. The greatest blessing of salvation is the relationship that we form with God. You can never stumble and fall from recovery. God bless the men and women of God like Hosea who can forgive and accept the indiscretions and unfaithfulness of their partners in life. To be honest, I am not sure that I could be that person. Israel prostituted her love to other gods. God provided salvation to everyone as a direct result of their infidelity. Jesus Christ provided a way for all wayward lovers and prostitutes of God’s Love to return and be fully accepted. It does not matter where you have scattered your love or how many lovers you have accepted into your life emotionally, spiritually or even physically. There is always a way back to the Lover of your soul. The Blood of Jesus Christ and His Grace is for this very occasion. When our hearts return to our first love, it is as if we never left and grows closer each day through faith, hope and of course, unfailing love. You have done nothing so terrible that God does not love you perfectly and completely. He is still excited at the thought of the return of your wayward heart no matter how many other gods you have served or lovers you have taken. He wants you back! He is jealous for you! He is zealous for you! He wants the same from you. Will you be the one to become jealous in your relationship with the Lord and claim it for yourself?
Romans 10:2-4 (NLT)
I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God.
Enthusiasm for the Lord without knowledge of His Love is nothing more than misdirected zeal. Not understanding how His Grace, Love and Mercy work can cause us to think that we have something to offer God other than our heart. The only way to enter a relationship with God again is through the Blood of Jesus. All who believe in Jesus Christ are made right with God instantly. However, it may take time to develop a relationship of faith and trust which will one day become confident hope especially if some of the influences of your previous love affair remain. Sin will always be a barrier between the Love of God and His People. It must be dealt with swiftly and removed. However, the enemy of our love affair with God will throw it all right back at us if we are not careful to gird ourselves with the truth that is the Word of God and dawn the Helmet of Salvation. You cannot do this by wallowing in the darkness once you have entered the Light of His Love. Closing the door on your past requires stepping out of the darkness and removing temptation. You must protect your mind and strive to know the Love of God completely so you may reciprocate. It is important to invest energy in what you believe to build confident hope otherwise it is lip service holding no value at all. You must love the Lord your God with ALL you mind, body and soul! Your heart must be given completely to God to experience His Full Satisfaction. He will love you completely if you give your life completely to Him! God will not go where He is not welcome including those hidden places in your heart reserved for other people and things. Why not give His Amazing Love a try? Place the Lord as a seal upon your heart! Let the world know you have given your heart to Jesus and experience the abundance of love, joy and peace that He has promised!
I John 4:7-10 (NLT)
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
Anyone who asks our youngest child whose girl that she is will be quick to find out that she is “mommy’s girl”. She will tell you without reservation and full confidence that I will tell you the same. She makes sure that I know how much she loves me. She misses me the moment that we are apart. She longs to be close to me and sit with me. She tells me all about her day and confides her deepest secrets. She trusts that I will care for her. Defend her. Protect her. Provide for her. She has total confidence in my ability to care for her. She is jealous when anyone or anything attempts to come between us and will remove it at all costs. God wants this to be how His Children feel about Him. I challenge you today that if you are struggling with relationships in your life to rediscover God’s Amazing Love for you. Work to know its depths and parameters. Choose to live in it by worshipping God with your time, talent and treasure. Make God your priority and I assure you that you will experience relational success as you become jealous and zealous in your love for the Lord. It will pour over your life and love will finally be satisfied. Your heart will begin to fill with more faith, trust and confident hope that will allow you to love more expecting nothing in return because His Love has filled you to overflowing! Real love is not our ability to love God perfectly but that He loved us first and most. His Son sacrificed His Life so that there would be no barrier between God and His People. Now we are free to love and be loved!
I Corinthians 13:1-7 (NLT)
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it, but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Got Love! Get it today! God is love!