Week of September 15
The Love of God
The world's viewpoint about God's love is such a watered-down version of the Truth. They view Him as a benign and insipid force. They think that His love is so unconditional that He will happily overlook all of their faults. They think that God is not concerned about what religion they belong to or what they believe.
As Christians we know that our God is loving and merciful, yet He is also just in His judgments. We know that although His love is not based on our accomplishments, His love is conditional upon Christ's death on the cross and upon our acceptance of that gift.
Our human brains cannot comprehend the infinity of God's love. The apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians: "And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19).
God's love does not come cheaply. God's love came at the cost of His own Son. Jesus endured immeasurable physical and emotional pain when He was separated from the Father in order to carry our sins. The perfect, holy, righteous Jesus Christ died in order to pay the wages of our sin. That kind of sacrificial love is incomprehensible. How great is God's love that He would give Himself for us. "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" (1 John 4:9-10).
We did absolutely nothing to earn God's love. We were born into sin; we were at enmity with God. We were unlovable and undeserving. Yet Christ still died for us. "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8)
God's love is so abundant that He not only saved us from eternal damnation, but He adopted us as His own children. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1). He changes our very nature upon salvation so that we can become more like Him. "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God" (1 John 3:9).
God does not want a one-sided relationship with us. He did not send His own Son to die a painful death on the cross for us in order for us to merely accept His forgiveness and continue our lives without Him. He did not adopt us as His children only to receive the occasional visit in return. He wants a daily, close, personal relationship with us. He wants to see us commit our time and hearts to Him in prayer. He wants us to talk to Him, praise Him, and worship Him every day.
The more we comprehend the magnitude of God's love for us, the more we will love Him back. The more time we spend in prayer learning about Him and developing a relationship with Him, the more our love for Him will grow. Spend time in prayer today just adoring Him. Praise Him for His amazing love. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you in how to show the immensity of God's love to the world.
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD."--Romans 8:38-39
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