Which comes first - Love or Truth?
I'd forgotten all the Love God showed me as a child - until I heard what my pastor said to a student from campus the day before yesterday.
My pastor (a young but gifted man) was speaking - so carefully and thoughtfully - to the student as we were chatting after a wonderful worship time in the home of dear friends.
I don't want to share the personal details. But the discussion turned to which comes first - Love or Truth? After some wonderful discussion - with many thoughtful pauses since we didn't want to cheat the moment with idle or poorly chosen words - I mentioned what Pascal said, "The heart has it's own reasons which reason cannot know."
But this is the backdrop of an amazing revelation of the Love Of Jesus God gave me as He caused me to remember how He first touched my heart in my youth.
Our family always loved movies composed by "Rogers and Hammerstein". My father played the sound tracks on his Sony "reel to reel" tape player - very high quality sound. So my heart is wrapped in music.
About a year ago God "swept me off my feet". I was at a worship meeting in a big old church in Detroit and I just began to dance all over the place. (That's not "me" - so I understand if you think I'm strange now. I kind of agree). But His LOVE was SO STRONG. My feet just took off!
The next day I was driving down Michigan Avenue and the song from out of the blue:
"Ten minutes ago I saw you . ."
Two strong reactions shook my heart. First, a sense of wonder and love about how God had "swept me off my feet". The second one was, "No WAY am I doing Cinderella". His reply, "You really don't get it yet, do you?". But both statements were a laughing jest. I know about "super romance" - that human romance is a weak and imperfect picture of the real deal. So I don't really get too tangled in the TMI details.
So this was more of a magic moment than something strange.
My wife and I love "The Sound Of Music". It's my family's theme. And my own family is patterned on it since my wife could have been the original Maria - both in the movie and the actual Maria Von Trapp.
I'd forgotten Julie Andrews also played Cinderella. But it molded the character she played later in "The Sound Of Music". Those of you who know and love these movies know how heart wrenchingly beautiful the themes are. And Cinderella is much more than a silly romance. It's a picture of Christ and His Church - as opposed to religion (the step mother and her daughters).
So I had an amazing day, yesterday. First I used the link a history buff friend of mine sent me to click into a video of my first mentor - Paul Maier the amazing history professor and apologeticist that God used to confirm me in my faith when I was between 11 and 13 years old.
So there I had the Truth.
What about the Love?
I was watching Cinderella on YOUTUBE when it hit me. I remembered weeping myself to sleep, at the age of 9 or so, when I applied the song from Cinderella to God:
"Are you WONDERFUL because I LOVE YOU, or do I LOVE you because you are WONDERFUL?"
then in a way that was DEVASTATINGLY BEAUTIFUL to my child heart:
"Are you the sweet reflection of a lover's dream or are you really as wonderful as you seem!"
Do you remember that? Sing it to yourself if you do. You'll see what it does to your heart.
My best memory was that TRUTH had come first - and LOVE came LATER (when I got saved). But God was squeezing pure Love out of my heart earlier on as He captured my heart as a child.
When I had read "Pontius Pilate" and "The First Easter", by Paul Maier, I had received the assurance that it was easier to believe than not believe. But that willingness to seek and read was due to the fact that He HAD, in fact, captured my HEART already.
But I was not yet saved. I still loved the world and the world loved me. I had not become a "criminal lover" (see the final scene of Cinderella) of my Lord - rejected and "outside the camp" until I was 15/16.
I had also listened to Bruce Gore - another amazing historian - teach: "Paul taught in Acts 17 that God wants men to GROPE AFTER HIM. They may not receive the REVELATION that we who know Him have - but what they get can be QUITE PROFOUND"
I'LL SAY!! Profound enough to cause me to weep myself to sleep as an 11 year old - amazed at how wonderful He is!
It's so much RICHER NOW - now that I have a relationship with Him and full revelation.
"Are you WONDERFUL because I LOVE you? Or do I LOVE you because you are WONDERFUL?"
He is called "Wonderful Counselor" in scripture. And that "wonderful" isn't just a sentiment as in "this pie is wonderful". It has a strong overtone that he DOES WONDERS! He's a MIRACLE MAKER. His miraculous assault on our earth bound senses causes us to FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM. But then our LOVE for Him unleashes his WONDERFUL MIRACLES in our lives!
The phrase "Are you a sweet reflection of a lover's dream or are you really as wonderful as you seem" gets a sure answer from my heart. He gave me the eyewitness testimony of the apostles, the miraculous matrix or paradoxical prophesy, and the amazing fabric of divine truth - TOGETHER WITH all the best evidence from non-Christian sources (which time does not permit me to give in detail)
So it's like this:
You enter the room. Your eyes meet. You're scared to the point of trembling. But soon you are swept off your feet. It was an IMPOSSIBLE DREAM. But now it's REAL. You want to PINCH YOURSELF or something to prove it's not just a dream. But it IS real. This really is happening to you. Then you are led into a BEAUTIFUL CRISIS which results in your relationship being fully established in the most dramatic and lovely way imaginable.
It's that romantic story.
But give it just a simple translation it it's even MORE powerful - in the actual drama of how He captured YOUR HEART FIRST, and then gave your MIND all the assurance it would ever need - and MORE.
You who read my blogs already know much about how this is resolved for me. The CHURCH is the "Bride Of Christ". I enter into an expression of our CORPORATE identity as such. This, and the fact that it is "Super Romance" - similar but powerfully superior to human romance - remove the TMI element from the experience.
So if you haven't seen "Cinderella" - it's available on YOUTUBE. See how very much it reflects our true spiritual experience. "The Sound Of Music" can also be placed in the context of the safety God will give us when something worse than the Nazis hits.
I think your heart will be swept away in a LOVE that will SWEEP YOU OFF YOUR FEET and up into the HEIGHTS of God. "My eyes look unto the hills from whence comes my strength".
You who already know the tune can sing it in your hearts now:
"Are you you WONDERFUL because I LOVE you, or do I LOVE you because you are WONDERFUL?
Are you the sweet reflection of a lover's dream? Or are you really as wonderful as you seem?"
Oh THANK GOD! He is so true and his Love so real
The words of my mentor echo in my ears as I listen to his interview with "Apologetics 315" as he explains that those who say Jesus is just a story someone just made up are . . uninformed . . to say the least.
Listen to this if you want to get to know my mentor, Paul Maier, and have a sample of his teaching.
Thy two breast are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
My Love My Dove !
Reference to the Bride , Bridegroom, Wife , Body of Christ !
Well done Kip .
Thanks for the message.
Love it let me tell you I have been lock up for may belief in The Word, I Have been stricken down Because of what I Love And That is Him And His Word ! By My own flesh and blood Family I am Totally thinking about His Word Even When My Head Hit's the Pillow .
I have study it for years and its upon the table of My Heart and no man can still it away Kip , I don't need to study it and have not for years because its in Me, I don't need a script nor note with Me To Talk about Him My Lord My Love , My Wife is jealous of God ! Because He is Always Occupying My Mind by The Lord And God , It Kill's Me to bite My Own Tongue ! And grieve The Spirit and the love and the faith because no one wants to Glorify God and Bless His Name Continually By A Holy Conversation , I Thank God all the time Night And Day Is The Lords Meditation Every Minute Every Day !
Do I Love Him ? I Can't quite put or sum it up How Much I Love The Lord Our God ! For the pages would fail me , and the words would run off the pages , and I could write a house full of paper and words , but It does not profit No One But Me ! If I can't share how much LOVE I HAVE FOR HIM !
I feel alone in A World So Cold , I Had Hoped to find another ! My Love My Dove My Wife !
But thought I walk through the shadow of Death I Shall Fear No Evil ! For At the end of The Rainbow I Shall See Her My Wife My Love My Dove !
Yes He Loves Me So Much I See All His Wonder's Crying Out for His praise In the music TV , Cartoons, All things God !
No Doubt My Mind WHO He Is It Depends upon The Eyes And Knowledge And Understanding That Came By The Way Of Our Savoir And King And Holy Spirit Which Can not lie ! And That His Word Is True And His Judgment Is Just And True And Can Never Return Void ! And Is Forever Without Measure Or A End !
Every Thing Made By His Word !