TLIC Daily. Day 81. March 22: Love is strong as death.

Song of Songs 8:6-7.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
    as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
    jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
    the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he would be utterly despised.

Most of us probably skip the Song of Songs because ancient erotic love poetry can feel a bit awkward. But as we said in yesterday’s reading, this poem can and should be read on two levels. Yes, it is ancient erotic love poetry, but it is also the story of our salvation. The song that God is singing over us. The song that we can sing back to God.

When the young bride asks her new husband to set me as a seal upon your heart and upon his arm, she is asking her husband to love her forever. To stay committed to her. The ancient seal (usually a ring or bracelet) marked not only possession but also a deep commitment. Like our wedding rings today, it marked a covenant.

Can you hear yourself saying these same words to Jesus? “Jesus set me as a seal upon your heart. Be dedicated to me. Devote your life and love to me today.”

But maybe you feel like this is too bold a thing to ask. “Jesus love me. Yes, me, insignificant me. Love me personally, individually, with everything you’ve got. All your power and all your grace. Jesus I need you to desire me.” Is this just way too presumptuous? Selfish even? Let me assure you it is not. In fact, it would be wrong of you not to ask for and expect Christ’s full loving commitment to you. It would be wrong not to require his covenant faithfulness. Whatever a bride might expect from her husband, expect that from Christ, and more.

But isn’t placing expectations on Jesus wrong? No. Quite the opposite. He’s the one person in your life that you should place expectations upon. His is the one heart that can carry the weight of all our expectations. His infinite supply of love can bear our infinite demand. The fact is, he’s already constantly loving you as much as he ever could and will. He’s already loving you beyond anything you could hope or imagine. So ask away. Ask Jesus to love you as if you are the only one asking.

But how do I know that his love for me is this dedicated? This strong and fierce? How can I be sure?

Because Christ’s love for you was stronger than death, and his jealousy (passion) for you was fiercer than the grave. Jesus fought the great cosmic battle for you. He ran into the flood waters of Sheol (the grave) and stared death in the face, and then conquered it with the fire of Yahweh’s invincible love.

Belle’s love is stronger than death.

Jesus experienced your fate. Your consequence. Your separation. Your agony. Your death. And he defeated it all with the power of unconditional love. The power that only true, unearned and unpurchased love can bring.

If a man offered for love
    all the wealth of his house,
    he would be utterly despised.

Purchasing love is no love at all. But love that purchases? Now that is a love that can conquer even death. And that is the love of God for us. Christ, in love, purchased us, paying the ransom that death held over our heads. Now we will never have to purchase God’s love. Now we can live freely in and from the unconditional love of God sealed in our hearts by his indwelling life – the Spirit of Christ. It is only when we have received God’s free love that we can then freely love others.

“To live is Christ” means we can and should expect the love of Jesus to overwhelm our lives each and every day. Why? Because his love has already overwhelmed every enemy of love there is – fear, death, shame, guilt. Now we can love freely from Christ’s freely given love. Not purchased love, but a love that purchased us.

You

Do you expect Jesus to love you today? Why or why not?

You in Christ

How does knowing that you are in Christ allow you to boldly demand Jesus’ love for you?

Christ in you

The strongest power in the universe, God’s love, is in you. How will you use this power today?

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Playlist: Stronger Than Death.

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To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here

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