Thursday, April 25, 2013

How Much Does God Love us?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  –John 3:16, 17 (KJV)

One of the first truths we learn as followers of Christ is that God loves us.  The lessons we teach and the songs we sing all point to this vital truth.  From there we grow in this knowledge and understanding of how the Lord loves us.  Begin counting all the hymns which deal with this theme and we would quickly lose count.  The same is true of this theme in the Bible.  We know God loved His people the Israelites.  Of all the people in the world, God chose them to be His very own.  He promised them He would bless them, lead them, and be their God.  All they had to do was be faithful to Him.  This proved difficult for them, did it not?  The people struggled with this issue of faithfulness. 

We should not judge them too harshly, for we too struggle with the problem of faithfulness to God.  Could any of us say we have been perfectly faithful to God all of the time?  The answer is of course not.  The Bible says in Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.  This includes us all.

When we come to the New Testament, we find a shift in God’s approach to reaching people.  No more are there plagues on people, parting of the Red Sea, manna in the desert, or the fire of God on the mountain.  Instead, we find the Word made flesh; God came and walked among us.  Jesus Christ, born of the virgin, the Son of God, the Son of Man, and as Isaiah foretold, the root out of dry ground, had come.  He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, just like us.  Can you imagine seeing Him as the people did?  Can you comprehend being the leper, the blind man, the lame man, the woman with the issue of blood, the man with the withered hand, and feeling the touch of God?  We cannot comprehend it.  Can you imagine being Lazarus, four days dead and safe in the warmth, comfort, and joy of the saints of glory when a voice thundered through heaven saying, “Lazarus, come forth!”  Christ’s command snatched Lazarus from heaven in an instant and back in the body very much alive. 

All God did through Jesus Christ He did out of love for us.  God became actively involved in the world, more so than ever before, and He did it in a way we might not have imagined.  The Word, which was God, became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).  Love is a description of an emotion, and it is an active word.  When we love, we demonstrate our love.  God did this through Jesus Christ.  Romans 5:8 says, “But God commended His own love for us in this, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Here we were, still lost in sin, unable to save ourselves, and Jesus Christ died on the cross for you and me.  Any and all may come and partake of the salvation only Jesus can offer.

Should you ever start believing no one loves you think again.  God loves you.  “How much?” you ask?  “This much,” Jesus said.  And He stretched out His hands and died – for us.

God bless you today.