Summary: By sending Jesus to die for us while we were still rejecting Him, God demonstrated His amazing love for us.
I. When they met she was just fifteen and he was sixteen. They dated throughout high school. He was a football player and she was a cheerleader. Nobody was surprised when they married after graduation. Four years and two babies later, she stood in her kitchen with the dirty dishes in the sink, a crying baby on her hip and a pile of dirty laundry in the corner. Tears were streaming down her cheeks. She didn’t really think about leaving – she just did it.
That night she called her husband relieving him of his fears a little. “I was worried. Where are you?” he said. She ignored his questions. “What’s going on? What are you doing? Where are you?” She just hung up the phone. Over the next three months she called him about once a week to let him know that the kids were ok, but when he would ask where she was she would just hang up. The frantic young husband borrowed $1,200 from his family and friends to hire a private detective to find her. Four days later she was located. Borrowing more money he flew to where she was. He found her living in a cheap motel in Des Moines.
As he approached her room there was doubt and fear in his heart and perspiration on his face. With his hands shaking badly he gently knocked on the door. When she came to the door he couldn’t remember his prepared speech and simply blurted out, “I love you. Won’t you come home?” She stood there for a long moment and then melted into his arms. They wept for a long time and then they left the motel . . . together.
One night, several weeks later, after the kids were in bed, he took her hand and led her out onto the front porch. They had yet to discuss the incident fearing she would leave again. But, he had to know, “Why wouldn’t you come home? Why, when I told you that I loved you and missed you and wanted you to come home, why didn’t you come back?” She cuddled up next to him in the dark and the cool of the night and said, “Because before, those were only words; but then you came for me.”
In Romans 5:8 the Bible tells us, ”But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This is my favorite Bible verse because until I was twenty-six years old I was like the wife in this story. I was on the run running away from the One who loved me the most in this world; because until then, ”I love you, I miss you, and I want you to come home,” were only words to me, but then he came for me.
I had been living a very sinful and self-centered life. I started drinking and smoking when I was about fourteen or fifteen; using and dealing drugs by age of nineteen while I was serving in the Army and I continued living a very immoral lifestyle in my early twenties. But all the while I was a “sinner” Christ was coming for me, to not only tell me that He loved me, but to show me His love for me and to free me from the living hell I was experiencing.
He’s done that for you too. Right now he’s gently knocking on your heart’s door. No matter what you’ve done or how far you’ve run from him, He loves you and wants to restore a loving relationship with you. Will you let him come in? If you already have, do you love him with a love that will die for him too? If you love him you will demonstrate it by loving others the same way he loves them.
II. God’s Covenant Love for You - Verse 6
Covenant Love is unconditional love and it never gives up. My wife and I gave our daughter a “True Love Waits” gold ring for her twelfth birthday and we told her that although we wanted her to wait to give herself to her husband on her weeding night that no matter what she did we would always love her. We told her, ”There is nothing you could ever do to cause us to stop loving you.” Our love for her was not a conditional love.
This is unlike the more common love we find in our culture today called Contract “love” which is conditional. In this kind of a relationship the relationship will continue only for as long as both sides keep their side of the contract. “I will do A and B if you will do X and Y,” for example. If either side violates the contract, the other side is free from any responsibilities. We see this in marriages when one of the partners breaks the marriage contract by having an affair. The other partner is released from the marriage without any sense of responsibility to stay and to work things out. This is largely why we have a 50% divorce rate in our country today. Most people who get married are entering into marriage contracts instead of marriage covenants. This is also why there are so many broken friendships and church hopping. Instead of working to restore relationships, people just leave in search of other friends or other churches.