The Essence Of God's Being
We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5).
Loving God is a commandment in the Bible. But "We love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19, KJV).
Many years ago I spoke at the famous Park Street Church in Boston. That day my topic was God's unconditional love, one of my favorite topics.
A missionary with whom I had gone to seminary twenty years earlier came up to me afterwards. "I could never preach a sermon like that," he scolded. "I leave talking about God's love to the theological liberals. I just talk about faith."
Faith is important, but this poor man had lost sight of one of God's greatest qualities. The apostle Paul writes, "We know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love" (Romans 5:5, NLT).
God's love for us, and His love through us, have always been the main focus of my ministry. His love is the central message of the gospel. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16, NLT).
God not only loves us, but it is noteworthy that His very Person is love. The Bible says, "God is love" (1 John 4:8, NLT). Love is the essence of His being, the driving force behind everything He does. That is why He wants this chief attribute to be the driving force behind all that we do.
Many people already know that they are lost and that they are sinners. Many do not need to be reminded. This includes many who are in other countries with dominant, non-Christian religious systems. But many have never been told of God's great, unconditional love for them and what He has done for them. The revelation of God's love has no doubt brought more souls into the kingdom and caused more repentance and personal healing than any other message.
As God leads, we must proclaim the whole counsel of God and tell of hell and eternal punishment, but the good news is that because of His great love, God wants to redeem us. That is not because we deserve it, because we do not, but only because of His love and grace.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners" (Romans 5:8, NLT).
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.