Monday, October 16, 2006

The Love of God

All of us are at a crossroads with The Love of God . A.W. Tozer said, "The gravest question any of us face is whether we do or do not love the Lord" (That Incredible Christian, p.132). Spurgeon assesses our situation by saying, "We cannot love whom we do not know or esteem" (Sermons, Vol.60, p.134). "Oh cold hearts! Oh slabs of marble! Oh blocks of granite! Oh icebergs! If we melt not now, when will we melt?" (Charles Spurgeon, Vol.60, p.141). The greatest tragedy in the church today is there are people who say they love God but don't know Him! How do we address such enmity? James addressed it head on. He said: "Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God" (Jas.4:4). You cannot love the world and love God at the same time. You must repent of your love to the world and come to Christ!

The Bible says God loved us first! Spurgeon said, "If this is not a good reason for loving Him, where could such a reason be found" (Vol.60, p.141). The answer is no where! God sent Jesus to you because He loves you! Meditate on that for a moment. God, the Creator of the universe, sent His only Son, to demonstrate His love for you.

Listen to what He said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 7:7-8: "The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loves you, and because He would keep the oath which He swore to your fathers, the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt." God chose His people on the basis of His love for them. What reason do you choose Jesus today?

When we talk about The Love of God , we see that the Scriptures describe it as being part of God's character. He is called "the God of love" in 2 Cor.13:11. The Apostle John tells us: "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love" (1 Jn.4:8). The expression "God is love" "is not meant to depersonalize God or portray Him as a force, a sensation, a principle, or some sort of cosmic energy. He is a personal Being, with all the attributes of personality — volition, feeling, and intellect. In fact, what the apostle is saying is that God's love is the highest expression of His person" (John MacArthur, The God Who Loves, p.27). We could further say that "...this verse by no means identifies God with everything our society labels love. Gordon Clark wrote, ‘John is not saying that all sorts of emotions called love are from God. The romanticism of Goethe, and much more the present sexual debauchery, are not from God.' In fact, those who cite this verse to attempt to legitimize illicit forms of ‘love' are about as far from the apostle's intent as it is possible to get. The love of which he speaks is a pure and holy love, consistent with all the divine attributes" (Ibid., MacArthur, p.28). Obviously, this "does not convey everything that can be known about God. We know from Scripture that He is also holy and righteous and true to His Word. God's love does not contradict His holiness; instead, it complements and magnifies it and gives it its deepest meaning. So we cannot isolate this one phrase from the rest of Scripture and attempt to make love represent the sum of what we know about God" (Ibid., MacArthur, p.28). So we have to take Scripture as a whole to understand the character of God.

As you mediate on The Love of God today, thank Him for His sovereign love for you. Thank Him for pouring out that love on you "before the foundation of the world" (See Eph.1:4-5).

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