“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16)
“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8)
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10)
Yesterday, I wrote about the limits of God’s love. A couple folks took issue with the title – one fella pointed out, rightfully, that everything God does He does from love, whether or not I understand it. True enough. Yet, from a human perspective, God’s love is most certainly constrained to acting within His holy and perfect will – e.g., God will not condone my favorite sin simply because I wish He would.
On the other hand, God’s love gives great and marvelous and bountiful blessings to us. David was amazed by God’s care: “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps 8:3-4). What is man that God cares for us? We are only a speck in the universe He has created – okay, we’re not even as big as a speck. Yet, the Creator of everything looks down from heaven and loves me. Try to wrap your head around that!!!
I have preached my entire life that love is action. It’s not a feeling in the pit of your stomach when your spouse walks in the room. It’s not a desire to have pizza instead of tacos. It’s not a wish to see the University of Kentucky win the NCAA tournament (even though they’d better!). Love is the way you treat someone. Love is actively seeking the benefit of someone else.
God has shown His love to man, not in warm and fuzzy feelings, but in action. God’s love has always been action: “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). How do I know God has great love for the human race? He gave His Son to die for the human race.
Here are some of the blessings which come from God’s love:
- The Gift of His Son“God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).Because God loves me, His Son came into the world to give me eternal life. God took the initiative in giving me eternal life, and His Son came as a testimony, not simply to God’s initiative for my eternal life, but to God’s amazing love for me!
- The Gift of Forgiveness “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 4:10). As “the propitiation for our sins,” Jesus’ sacrifice atones for our sins. By the blood of Jesus, given out of the Father’s love, our sins are expiated and atoned for.
- The Gift of Physical Blessings God “did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). Every bite I eat. Every dollar I make. Every drop of rain. Every garment I wear. God gives every physical blessing.
- The Gift of Spiritual Blessings “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph 1:3). Being holy and blameless before the Father. Adoption as His son. Redemption and the forgiveness of my sins in Jesus’ blood. Knowing the mystery of His will. Every single spiritual blessing I have comes from the love of God.
- The Gift of Hope “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Pet 1:3-4). A living hope. A living hope of eternal life. A living hope of the end of all sickness and pain. A living hope of every tear being wiped away by the hand of God. A living hope of dwelling forever with God in the New Jerusalem. Oh, what a marvelous hope! Oh, what great love!
I feel somewhat awkward writing this post. Not because anything I’ve written anything embarrassing, but because I’ve attempted to put God’s love into words. God’s love is far grander than mere words could ever convey. He loves deeply, He loves bountifully, He loves far too much for human comprehension. Oh, the great love of God!