Summary: God loves you ... unconditionally. He couldn’t love you any more than He does ... or any less than He does. Bask in the love of God!
“For The Love Of God”
Tuesday is Valentine’s Day! (Just a reminder, guys!) When we think of Valentine’s Day, our thoughts go towards “love”. And, when we think of “love”, we must think of the greatest love the world has ever known … the love of God.
Turn with me to Ephesians 3:17-19 – “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
God’s love is DEEP! And, God’s love has nothing to do with you! Others may love you because:
· You’re cute, cuddly and adorable.
· You’re rich.
· You’re fun to be around.
· You’re family (and they HAVE to love you).
But, not God! God loves you simply because He WANTS to love you … He CHOSE to love you … He DECIDED to love you. God loves you because “God is love” (1 John 4:16). Listen to what God told Israel (who would have been difficult for even the most loving of us to love) – 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.”
We’re all familiar with HUMAN love. There’s “puppy” love, Grand-parent love, “first” love, a love for the arts, a love of chocolate, and much more. We have all kinds of friends … “fair-weather” friends, “long-distance” friends, “new” friends, “old” friends, “former” friends, “close” friends. This is HUMAN love, and HUMAN love is fickle, sporadic, temporary, and conditional.
BUT, God IS love, and His love is unconditional, constant, and perfect. You can’t influence God’s love, because God IS love. Jesus didn’t go to the cross because of any love you had for Him … for any influence you placed on Him. Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Jesus must have really loved you to do what He did for you, because, your sins put Him there.
We look at some people … they have money, a good job, good health, live a good life, have a good family and marriage. We think, “God must really love them … look at how much He has blessed them!” Or, we look at others … they have problems, are sick, poor, have lost their job, or are plagued with family or marital problems. We think, “God must not really love them … look at all the problems they have!”
NONSENSE! Forget those thoughts. Circumstances have nothing to do with God’s love. When everything seems to be going wrong, God still loves you. When everything seems to be going right, God still loves you. If you want a gauge of God’s love … a yardstick to measure His love … don’t look at circumstances, look at the cross!
Jeremiah 31:3 – “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” What do we need to do to EXPERIENCE God’s love? Just RECEIVE it. Why? Because … nothing can separate you from God’s love.
Turn with me to Romans 8:35a – “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Look at how Paul leads up to this statement. In Romans 8:28 we read the familiar “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” This is a demonstration of God’s love, that ALL THINGS, all circumstances, all problems, all blessings, EVERYTHING that comes our way, is a demonstration of His love for us.
Paul then gives us a series of questions, leading up to 8:35.
8:31 – “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” That’s a good question … one we’ve probably asked … only in another form. Maybe we have asked, “With everybody and everything against me, where is God?” We all face opposition:
· From our BODIES … sickness, disease aches & pains.
· From PEOPLE … hard to get along with, will hurt your feelings, disappoint you.
· From CIRCUMSTANCES … things don’t always go our way.