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a love better than life

"Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you."  (Psalm 63:3 ESV)

How is this true?  In what way is God's steadfast love better than life itself?
I think we all realize eventually that relationships are more important than mere existence.  If I am alive but unloved what does good does life hold?

Now if I am not loved eternally, life will do me no ultimate good.  But if I am loved by the eternal God, I shall both be loved and be alive for eternity.  Eternal existence without love would be hell.  To be loved by God is eternal life.

Here are some quotes from the Puritan theologian John Owen (1616-1683) on communing with the Father in his love...

"Have fellowship with the Father in his love.  Have no fears or doubts about his love for you.  The greatest sorrow and burden you can lay on the Father, the greatest unkindness you can do to him is not to believe that he loves you."  (p. 13)

"Believers must receive the love of the Father.  Communion or fellowship lies in giving and receiving.  Until the love of the Father is received, we have no communion with the Father in love.  How then is this love of the Father to be received in order that we may have fellowship with him?  There is only one way and that is by faith.  To receive the love of the Father is to believe that he does love us.  God has so fully, so clearly revealed his love, that it may be received by faith."  (p. 16)

"Many saints have no greater burden in their lives than that their hearts do not constantly delight and rejoice in God.  There is still in them a resistance to walking close with God.  Why is this?  Is it not because they are not skilful and so neglect having loving fellowship with the Father?  But the more we see of God's love, so much more shall we delight in him.  All that we learn of God will only frighten us away from him if we do not see him as loving and merciful to us.  But if your heart is taken up with the Father's love as the chief property of his nature, it cannot help but choose to be overpowered, conquered and embraced by him.  This, if anything, will arouse our desire to make our eternal home with God.  If the love of a father will not make a child delight in him, what will?"  (pp. 32-33)

From Communion with God, by John Owen, abridged and edited by R. J. K. Law, Banner of Truth Trust, 1991.


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