Summary: God’s love is the ultimate reality and truth. Nothing compares with God’s love. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. But we must accept God’s love.
Consider this: 1. God created you to love you and God wants you to spend eternity with Him. 2. God has an enemy who hates you and wants you to spend eternity in Hell away from God. 3. The nature of God’s love demands that we have the power to choose whether we accept or reject the love of God. 4. Acceptance of God’s love requires that we recognize Him as ruler of our lives so that ultimately we experience full transformation into His likeness. 5. Rejection of God’s love and authority over us leads to separation from Him so that ultimately we experience the full force of His wrath against sin and evil.
God created you to love you. Listen to Romans 8:35-39.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
What does this tell us about God’s love for us?
First of all, GOD’S LOVE IS DURABLE. Nothing you go through can pull you out of, or away from God’s love in Christ. God’s love isn’t escapable. Nothing can separate us from it, nothing can undo it, nothing can destroy it, nothing can diminish it, NOTHING.
God’s love is amazingly strong and long lasting. It takes a licking and comes back ticking. There used to be commercials for Samsonite luggage. They would do all kinds of things to a Samsonite suitcase but it just wouldn’t tear it up. They’d drop it off the top of a car going down the highway, they’d slam it around on the back of a truck, they even gave one to an ape at the zoo to play with and he threw it all over the place and bounced on it, jumping up and down, but it stood the test.
God’s love will outlast all its enemies. God’s love will be there when the Devil is finally done for and gone. You and I need to know that God’s love doesn’t go away. Why do we need to know that? Because there are times when it can feel like God does not love us. That’s the second thing we learn here about God’s love.
Secondly, God’s love does not depend on positive circumstances, nor does God’s love deflect all difficulty. In fact, sometimes God’s love directs us right into the storms of suffering and sacrifice. GOD’S LOVE IS LONGSUFFERING. God’s love is even proven through suffering sacrificial service. There is something about love that demonstrates its strength best during trials and pain. More than that, God’s love seems to be instilled in us that way. Satan would have you think that God’s love is always fun, soft and sweet. If God really loves you, he would never let you go through pain. But this is a dangerous lie.
Growing in God’s love may be the most excruciating experience imaginable. But is God’s love worth it? Read Romans 8:16-18, 2 Cor. 4:16-18.
Stephen, an 8th century Christian wrote this song that was translated by J.N. Neale in the mid 1800’s.
1. Art thou weary, art thou languid,
Art thou sore distressed?
"Come to Me," saith One, "and coming,
Be at rest."
2. Hath He marks to lead me to Him,
If He be my Guide?
In His feet and hands are wound prints
And His side.
3. Hath He diadem, as monarch,
That His brow adorns?
Yes, a crown He wears it surely,
But of thorns.
4. If I find Him, if I follow,
What will happen here?
Many a sorrow, many a labor,
Many a tear.
5. If I still hold closely to Him,
What hath He at last?
Sorrow vanquished, labor ended,
6. If I ask Him to receive me,
Will He say me nay?
Not till earth and not till Heaven
7. Finding Him and following, keeping,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
(Lyrics: Stephen the Sabaite, 8th century
Translated: J.M. Neale)
Think of the biblical characters that learned this from experience. Job certainly must have wondered about God’s love. When God allowed Satan to do his worst on Job, and Job’s wife and three friends gave Job no support at all, Job surely didn’t feel the love of God. But did God still love Job? And did God prove His love at the end?