A Springboard for You

For a better life and a better eternity

God, the Love (an excerpt)

Walks with God

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Getting our Bearings

“God is love.”

The Romans had cupid and Venus. The Greeks had Eros and Aphrodite. The Etruscans had Alpan, Turan and Uni. The Mesopotamians had Ishtar. The Canaanites had Anath. The Norse had Astrild, Freya and Sjofn. The Egyptians had Qadesh and Qetesh.

In one way or another, each of these gods and goddesses were connected to love by the people who believed in them. Their special province was love. However, the gods and goddesses themselves may not always be very loving. They were like all the gods and goddesses of the pagans–fickle; their devotion had to be won by some merit of the men and women who called on them.

That is not our God. When John said, “God is love,” he didn’t mean God had some special province oer love or some special attachment to those who love. He meant God is love. God’s very nature is love.

No doubt, this boggles our minds. The God who is a consuming fire, is also love. The God who brings judgment on sinners, loves those very sinners. We struggle to see how both can be true at the same time. Let’s not struggle, let us merely accept what God says of Himself. However, this should really not be all that difficult to understand. In fact, it is very much like our parenting. I love my children very much. I imagine if you have children, you love them too. However, we discipline our children for their own good and when they rebel, we punish them. Why then is it so hard to understand our heavenly Father is at the same time a consuming fire and love?

John’s point was to explain why God loves us. The pagan gods and goddesses loved their devotees because they were pretty, rich, smart or had offered good enough sacrifices. Jehovah God, however, love us because He is love, because love is His very nature. Some parents love their children when they do well in school, when they are good at sports, when they are pretty or when they act just like the parent. But not our Heavenly Father. He loves us because He is love.

No matter our looks, wealth, health, strength, physical prowess or even holiness, God loves us. No doubt, God will not accept us if we sin without repentance. He will punish us because He is a consuming fire if we rebel, but all the while He loves us. We know that because I John 4:9 says God sent His Son so we might live through Him. Romans 5:6-8 says God sent His Son while we were ungodly, sinful enemies.

He did not accept us while sinfully rebellious. He did not just save us in our sins. He is a consuming fire. He couldn’t abide with that. However, He is also love. Therefore, though we were rebellious, He sent His Son that we might have the means of salvation. That is love. Can you imagine providing the very means by which everyone who has ever hurt, betrayed or victimized you can be forgiven? That is God’s love.

This is the God we adore. The creating ruler/judge who is a consuming fire is also love. Therefore, despite our rebellion He provided a way of escape from our rebellion so we might be saved and enjoy the benefits of His love.

 

Hand in Hand

If we are going to walk hand in hand with the God who is love, we need to remember that love. We need to remember God has displayed His love in no uncertain terms.

Sadly, too many Christians have been turned from God by the devil’s lies. Satan wants us to believe God doesn’t love us. One way of accomplishing this is to make us suffer. Job is one extreme example. Satan was sure if God moved the hedges of safety, Job would curse God. We can argue about whether or not Job ever sinned within the book; we can’t, however argue with the fact that Job never cursed God and up to the end, Job knew his salvation came from God. he knew who was His redeemer. he continued to hope in God even at his lowest.

Paul addressed this issue in Romans 8:35-39:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. for I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This passage recognizes that Christians will face distress, persecution, famine and danger. We will get sick. Our loved ones get sick. We may get fired from our jobs. We may get hurt in accidents. We may get cancer, diabetes, heart disease. We may endure strokes, heart attacks and car wrecks. Enemies will attack us. Friends will betray us. Even our brethren will let us down. Satan has one goal in all this. He wants us to doubt God’s love. He wants us to get upset with God and turn our back on Him.

We need to remember God has already shown His love and nothing else will change that. God doesn’t have to heal our cancer to show His love for us. He doesn’t have to steer our car away from a wreck to say He loves us. he doesn’t have to find us a job when we first ask to demonstrate His love. He sent His Son to die for us while we were undeserving sinners. What more could He do to say, “I love you”?

Do not let Satan block your view of Jesus on the cross. He will try. No matter what you face, look to Jesus. I believe this is one of the reasons the Bible indicates we should take the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week. We need the constant reminder. God loves me this much. He loved me so much he shed His own Son’s blood on the cross. He offered up His own Son’s flesh as a sacrifice. 

If we are going to walk hand in hand with God, we need to envision Jesus on that cross every day. We must not let Satan hinder that vision.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | A Springboard for Your Spiritual Life, God's Love, My Books | , , , , , , | Leave a comment