2009-10-03 - The Love of God
1 John 4:19, "We love, because He first loved us."
I would like to look at God's love as we see it relate to God's people. God has loved them with a particular, personal love, which those who trust into Christ, know only in Christ, and yet still many will wonder, "How has God loved me?" A reminder of God's love might do His followers a bit of good.
How God has loved His own? There are many that have come to faith in Christ. They trust Him. They have personally know the truth of, "I have loved you." He has loved them. Let us read Malachi 1:2, 3, here. "I have loved you," says the Lord." But you ask, 'How have You loved us?'" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" the Lord says. "Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated."' This passage is repeated, we know, in Romans 9:13. God loved Jacob from before he was born. He loved Jacob, and He loves all His children even before the foundations of the world were put in place. He has set His children apart, to Himself, from before eternity. We call it electing love, and it is the foundation of God's covenant of mercy to us. The Lord loves His children. How has He loved them? He has loved them by giving His Son to die for their sins. He loves them by giving His Spirit to live in them, guide them, and sanctify them. Where do we begin to speak of God's love toward His children? Everything that God brings to His people is done in love.
We might wonder where we begin to speak of God's love toward us, but we ought to also ask, "Where does it end?" It never ends. His love to us knows no end. Does God smile toward you? - it is love. Does God frown upon your sin? - He does it in love. God is love, and His people know nothing but His love toward them. His love has no ending. The sun never sets on God's love. It has not boundaries. His love cannot be measured, because it is beyond any limits. His love cannot be exhausted, because it is everlasting. He love can never change, because God never changes (Malachi 3:6). God's love toward His children is unending, continuous, uninterrupted, and eternal.
Can we really say, "How have You loved us?" Rather, let us know that He loves us in every way. Do we neglect His Word? Certainly this grieves Him. But God is love. Do we have a problem with anger? God knows, and He hates our sin when we lose control. It is a sign that we don't really trust Him. It never changes His love, however. God is love to His children, even when we sin. He does not love our sin, but He loves us, because He sees us as we are in Christ. We are made new, whole, complete - and God looks at the finished project. We are still getting there.
We ought to be glad in the things of Christ. The child of God, who is walking with God, has a hard time with the question, "How have You loved me?" The child of God ponders that question and thinks, "What an ingrate I would be, to think such a way. God's love is ever evident in my life. He has, in every way, loved me. How has He not loved me?" If you trust in Christ, say this rather, "The Lord loves me." It is more than that the Lord thinks of me, or hears my prayers, or cares for me - all that is true - but, it is more ... the Lord loves me! The One who upholds the universe - He - loves me.
Soli Deo Gloria,