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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

What is "The Love of God"?

I was driving down a familiar road today and stopped at the same traffic light. And the same homeless young man begged for money, for food....for anything! A thought crossed my mind. What if I took him to McDonalds, bought him a Big Mac and a strawberry shake and told him "God loves you!" And then he quips back "Loves Me? I have no home. I have no clothes. I don't know where my next meal's coming from. Don't tell me about this loving God of yours!" And as this scene played out in my mind it dawned on me how fleshly and carnal we (society, the world, media, ME) have been when thinking and speaking about "The Love of God". 

You see, we look at a guy driving a fine car, living in a nice house, dressed in good clothes and we nod in the belief "Yeah, God must love Him." And then we look at the homeless guy and we're like...."Mmm....I know God loves him, buuuuuuuut...." And we're not sure how to explain God's love to the homeless guy because all we see is lack and poverty. And this thinking exposes our false wisdom of God's love. It's like when we praying for our rent money or for God to provide a job; we hinging those prayers on the fact that God loves us. And if the rent money doesn't come or the job becomes the next guy's, then we resign ourselves to questions like "We'll where exactly is God?" and "And I thought He loved me? Then why doesn't he give me what I need?" And sometimes, this sort of questioning and belief has caused people to walk away from their faith in Christ. It's because of a corrupted wisdom. It's a false understanding of what God's love is. If He doesn't give me what I pray for then He couldn't really love me as much as the other guy! Corrupted wisdom.

What we really should be seeing is that we were evil to the core, we detested Jesus from the bottom of our hearts, we hated Him and everything about Him, our lives centered around ourselves, our pleasures and our satisfactions. Nothing in us wanted God. We were vile sinners who loved the slop of our sin. And while we were in this state, oblivious to us...the God of the universe came and lived among us. He suffered the most agonizing death, He suffered in ways we will never ever experience, He was whipped beyond facial recognition, He died a death that crushed Him to pieces and He did it for us. THAT is love. THAT was "The love of God." 

When we recognize that God isn't some vending machine whereby we judge His love for us by the size  of the toy that pops out, but rather see His death on the cross as the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate payment, His way of rescuing a dying and evil world, providing a salvation for all eternity to the least deserving; then we'll begin to have a glimpse of "The Love of God." 

The Love of God was demonstrated for me. And the rich guy. And the homeless guy. My message to both of them is the same: "My friend, you are a lost, evil, wicked to the core person. You deserve death. Your sins have buried you. Hell is your destination and there is nothing you can do about it. BUT!! God so loved you....." 

The Love of God is BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, BECAUSE OF CHRIST ALONE.

"...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8

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