Thursday, November 24, 2005

God is Love!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16"

I had an interesting thought yesterday, It was about a deep down subconscious thought that I had always kept a little below the surface. I sometimes thought (not believed, but thought) that God loved us (believers) more than He does non-Christians. Although I wasn’t conscious that I thought this way, and were you to ask me, I would have answered you passionately (perhaps in a Sunday school tone) “God loves everyone equally!” but I think I really meant that He loved all Christians equally. Because, after all, we believe in Jesus the Christ, and we who believe in Jesus are called (in His word the Holy Bible) His children. Now of course He died for every one, and He would certainly love them as much as me and other believers; if only they too would choose salvation through Jesus by believing in Him. (I probably didn’t think this way when I caught myself in a sin, but on the whole it is something that was inside of me none the less.) The problem with this thought was that not only is it wrong,  but it takes away from God’s unchanging love and perfection. It creates a religion of good works and a false hope concerning God’s love for us. It destroys the meaning of true love as defined by His word. His love is so beyond our own that it bewilders me and all of us really ( like it did the prophet Jonah when the wicked people of Nineveh repented and were spared from utter destruction). I think that it is hard for us to love somebody unless they loved us back, at least just a little bit(not a biblical principle just a way we often think). And I think we sometimes think that God’s love operates in a similar way. How could God really love those who are sinners, those who rebel and hate Him (or at least rebel and hate His law He's placed in their conscience). Those who, because of their disbelief/rejection of Jesus, are going to hell for eternity; being separated from Him and everything good that is found in and comes from Him. How could He love them as MUCH as He loves His own precious children (those born/"adopted" by faith, as His child) who He died for and who are going to be with him forever? But then I see that is not His nature. He is love! Even Hitler had a chance to live a good life, but in his rejecting truth(Jesus) became a monster. Did Jesus love his disciple Judas Iscariot less than the other disciples, even while knowing that He would be betrayed by him? No, of course not. You see... I have put stipulations on His love, and I have subjected it to circumstances. I didn’t know that I had, but I’m glad that I do now. Because there is something that I have to know/remember about His love. It IS unchanging... truly and wonderfully unchanging. He loves us all equally, both the sinner and the saint. He took everyone's penalty onto Himself in Jesus(should they accept it). Why? Because God is love!
The rest (receiving the gift of salvation, choosing Jesus and recieveing heaven or rejecting Him and in essense choosing hell) is up to us and our free will (insomuch as God gave us the choice to believe in Jesus the Christ,or not. That is why the lies of the devil againt God's love being found in Jesus are so wicked. After all, He (Jesus) is mankind's salvation and the love of God the Father displayed. So we can never say that He doesn't love us(He showed us that He does, even to be executed on a cross in our place), and we can never say that He didn't love those who rejected Him. Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Jesus is "the way" because of God's love for everyone in the world to know the only true God, and to receive the everlasting life that comes from knowing Him. Here is a great bit of Christ's teaching that shows clearly the love of God the Father  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-47"

The earth is full of Your lovingkindness, O LORD; Teach me Your statutes. Psalms 119:64


Lynnsey said...

I really have to agree with you that all too often we find it difficult to love others when they don't show us love in return, or initiate it in the first place in some cases. Thanks for reminding me thats not the way it should be. I've been having some problems with a roommate, and lately it's been pretty difficult to show her love. I needed a reminder that God loves her just as much as he loves me and I need to show her that love so that someday she might see that it came from God and that he is love.

gospeloflove said...

Leah, Thanks for the comment. I'm glad God can use me even when I don't know He is.

my 5 cents said...

i would have posted good things, but its weird to do that after you already talked to the person in person about how you liked their idea.

ya... so, uh... good thoughts... ;)

John said...

Love this