God's love cost him dearly.
One of the most powerful statements of all time is summed up in three words: God is love. God has revealed that love to mankind throughout the millennia, and continues to do so today.
In the Old Testament (OT), God made his love known by choosing a particular people, so that his dealings with them could reveal his love to all the nations of the world (sadly, however, the Israelites interpreted their special relationship with God as something to keep to themselves).
Like us, they weren’t worthy of that love—time and time again, they turned their backs on him. True love, however, persists in spite of rejection, and down the centuries God continued to show his unfailing love.
The greatest demonstration of God’s love is that he came in the person of Jesus Christ to identify himself with humankind, and showed God’s love by reaching out to those rejected by society. He touched the leper; he associated with the despised; he was not afraid of the ‘red light’ areas of life.
The Bible says that God demonstrates his own love for us in this: ‘While we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. He did not wait for us to improve and try to become worthy of his love—he loved us, warts and all, and died to prove it. Certainly most of the ‘heroes’ of the Old Testament were flawed characters, but God loved them and worked through them just the same.
The Bible also tells us that if God loves us, we ought to love one another, too. In John (NT), Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another,” and in Romans, Paul exhorts us to “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves”. It is only as we show God’s love to others through our words and actions that we can experience the genuine love of God for ourselves.
Some people struggle to accept that he is a loving God, however. They see only an angry God in the Old Testament, instead of his endless patience and his very direct presence among his people, and they see too much suffering in the world today. Suffering is a difficult issue, but we are subject to the laws of the world: we do not yet live in the perfection of God’s kingdom. This doesn’t mean that God’s love isn’t real, or that it can’t be experienced by anyone today.
People who are in relationship with God will attest to a personal, intimate, daily love. It’s not just something to read about, which happened to ancient peoples, but something to be experienced in everyday life—through things such as prayer, the Bible, and fellowship with others. Many people, immediately after they become a Christian, say they experienced an incredible sensation of feeling loved—and this is because they have finally opened the door on the love that has been quietly knocking since the day they were born.
Pray: Father God, who doesn’t want to be loved? I do—so please remove whatever stands in the way of my experiencing your love. If there is any part of me which is resistant to you, please take it away. The amazing thing about love is that it’s two-way, so help me to love you in return. Amen.
Hear and read the Father's Love Letter to You
Look up in the Bible just how much God loves you
Watch a video clip based on a Bible passage
Read more about the nature of God’s love
Find out if God loves those who don’t love themselves
See the scriptures which tell you how much God loves you
Download Lenny Kravtiz’s song God is Love (iTunes) and read the lyric
Watch the music video of Martika’s Love, Thy Will be Done
Watch the music video I could Sing of Your Love Forever
Listen to Paul Oakley’s song A Love So Amazing
Download Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing) by Vineyard UK (iTunes)
Read the book Love Beyond Reason: Moving God's Love from Your Head to Your Heart by John Ortberg
Read the book I Dared to Call Him Father by Bilquis Sheikh & Richard Schneider
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