IN HEAVENLY LOVE ABIDING
Anna L. Warning, 1823–1910
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–6)
Those who were born on this day are special people—they celebrate only one fourth as many birthdays as the rest of us. But the Bible tells us of something else that makes someone special—spiritual rebirth:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)
The Scriptures also teach that as believers we enjoy many special privileges. We are heavenly people—our citizenship is in the heavenlies with Christ. Even now we are seated positionally with Him in glory. In Christ we have access to His storehouse of riches; we are the possessors of all heavenly blessings. We have been given a heaven-born nature that responds to spiritual nourishment—the Living and Written Word. While we seek to be worthy representatives for God in this life, our affections are already centered on things above. This occupation with heavenly values enables us to rise above the mundane circumstances and storms that often cross our earthly paths and provides the enablement we need to live a life of daily victory. And while we await the day of our final victory, we live in the enjoyment of our future inheritance. In a sense, then, we are “in heavenly love abiding” already.
The author of this hymn text, Anna Laetitia Warning, was raised as a Quaker in South Wales but later joined the Anglican church. In later life she took on a busy ministry of visiting prisoners in jail. She was known and loved for her gentle but cheerful spirit.
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear; and safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here. The storm may roar without me; my heart may low be laid, but God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me, no fear shall turn me back; my Shepherd is beside me, and nothing shall I lack. His wisdom ever waketh; His sight is never dim; He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him.
Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen; bright skies will soon be o’er me, where darkest clouds have been. My hope I cannot measure; my path to life is free; my Savior is my treasure, and He will walk with me.
For Today: Ephesians 1:3–14; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1, 2