24 March 2011

The Love of God

The word ‘Love’ is used for everything and anything these days...

We love our food, we love our favourite TV shows and we sometimes love our family and friends. The world believes love is whatever makes us feel good and happy, willing to use and abuse people in order to achieve ‘love’. However, the deciding factor of Love is this – selfishness centered or selflessness centered.

1 John 4:7-8 Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Apart from God, we can not even begin to understand what True Love is. According to John, God is the author and complete expression of Love (1 John 4:8; 16). When we truly know God and His unconditional Love, we can really love others just as He loves us.

For God to acknowledge He is Love is to admit that He is warm, friendly, affectionate and desires intimacy and relationship. It is a strange but beautiful idea. That God is free to share His identity, to be emotionally identified with fallen man. Furthermore, despite being all sufficient, He desires our love and will not be satisfied until He gets it – AW Tozer

Because God is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb 13:8), His Love is unchanging and Eternal, for that would require Him to change.

Romans 5:7-8 Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Even if you don’t believe in God, He still loves you.
Even if you choose never to accept Him, He still loves you.
And even when you are a 1,000 miles away and live in rebellion, He still loves you.

In all honesty, there is absolutely no reason why a Perfect, Good and Holy God should love us. We knowingly disobey His commands and ways almost every day. There is no rational reason God loves us; He loves us… just because He does.

The Nature of God is to Show Love

1 John 4:9-12 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.

The Love of God is a mystery in every way, transcending all understanding of human wisdom, logic, rationale and thinking. Furthermore, it supercedes and triumphs over all sin, evil and wickedness - overlooking a persons past and instead looking at the individual’s potential good.

Scripture clearly speaks of God’s most striking manifestation of His love, not with gifts and presents, but by the death of Christ on a Cross. God has exhibited the greatness of His love with the death of His only Son in our place of punishment.

God’s Love is expressed greatest by giving mankind a second chance to be redeemed from eternal death. While we were His enemies, (being dead, wicked and guilty), Christ died for us (Rom 5:8).

Christ died for sinners who were guilty and hateful; such that their everlasting destruction would be to the glory of God’s justice and holiness. However, in His great mercy Christ died to save us, from this eternal terror. While our character and condition loved our sin, committed it daily, and were slaves to it; with many being the chief and vilest of sinners; these were the ones Christ willingly died for.

1 John 4:16-17 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.

God designed to deliver us from sin and to work a great change in us – to be dead to sin and alive to Christ! (Rom 6:11) For God to love the sinner, the sinner to despise and hate the God, and for that God to die for them… is truly one of the greatest of all mysteries.

For a righteous man to die in place of the unrighteous for no other reason but out of God’s Sovereign Will and Love? We will have all of eternity to adore and wonder at its reality for us individually…

God’s Great Love for His People

Ephesians 3:17-19 [Be] rooted and grounded in love, [so that you] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – [which is] to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge…

When Paul wrote to the Ephesian church, he desired to express in the strongest sense of the greatness of the love of God in the most emphatic manner possible. He wished that his readers would stop and meditate on this great and marvelous wonder, which comprehends all that is above, below, the past and the future:

1) Breadth – all over the world
2) Length – to all people with the eternal message of the Gospel of Christ
3) Depth – reaches to the lowest fallen people
4) Height – reaches to the infinite heights to the throne of Christ

John 3:16-17 For God loved [Your Name] so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that if [Your Name] would believe in Him, he will not perish but [Your Name] will have Eternal Life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

God’s love indicates that it is unconditional, selfless, sacrificial, extravagant, all comprehensive, ‘your needs at my expense’ approach. It also explains many of life’s questions, including:

1) Why God creates – because He created people to love Him
2) Why God cares – we are made in His image and we need His help
3) Why we have free will – God wants a loving response from us, to accept/reject His love
4) Why Christ died – God’s love caused Him to offer a solution to the problem of sin which separated us from His Love
5) Why there is Eternal Life – God’s love fully expresses itself to us forever, it never ends!!

Final Thoughts

God’s love is the theme of the Bible - from Genesis to Revelation. Scripture declares that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. We can therefore trust that His love is constant and eternal. That it never changes, never stops, never runs out, never grows weary…but is always available, renewed and abundant - every day. Let heaven and earth stand amazed at His love which lasts forever.

In Summary: He Loves you because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves you… because He Loves youbecause He Loves you… because He Loves you… Because THAT IS WHO HE IS…

Be encouraged – You were made for Love. You were created for His Love. To be affectionately Loved by Him alone. His Love for you makes you valuable, precious and worthy, regardless of anything you do, good or bad. Certainly, if there is Amazing Grace, this is Amazing Love.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.