In the meantime, here's some thoughts from Steve's second thought provoking email:
Except for Guam the Mariana Islands aren’t known for much except for what is beside them- the Mariana Trench, the deepest place on earth. If it were possible to take 2 of Colorado’s “14’ers” put them on top of one another and place them in Mariana Trench, They would still be one and a half miles under water. There isn’t anything deeper on earth… but this. “And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Gal. 2:20
God loves me and gave himself for me. Every word is worth reflecting on. God…..loves….me….and gave….himself….for me…. Why is it important for us to cling to this truth daily and never ever let it out of our grasp? Because it is our only hope. “If God be for me (an expression of his love) who can be against me.” Rom. 8. Thinking deeply about this reality changes everything. The deeper and more often we think about it the more it changes our faith, our rest, our hope, our perspective, our… But how do we know God loves us for sure?
1. For reasons we are not told, before the foundations of the world in eternity past, God determined, “this one will know me.” He chose me (us), we did not choose him. Eph 1:4. Go figure
2. He sent God the Son, to pay for and remove the eternal judgment that rightfully hung over those who would one day believe
3. He sent the Holy Spirit at a particular moment in time to convict us personally of our rebellious independence and open our hearts and understanding to the person and work of Jesus Christ
4. He granted us faith as a gift whereby we could trust him, thus experiencing spiritual life, rebirth
5. Now, united to him by a living faith, we live with him and for him, not for ourselves
“God loved me and gave himself for me”.
It’s called the gospel.
We can never ponder it enough, get our minds around it completely, or exhaust the depths of its meaning or implications. But we will always be the be the better for trying.