Summary: in the deepest place of God’s heart is an intense, burning, passionate love for people. All people.
God’s Heart For People
September 22, 23 2002
Today I want to share with you what I believe to be in the deepest place of God’s heart. You see, we do not serve a God of intellect – who looks at the state of the world and responds by analyzing the causes and hypothesizing about what possible courses of action could be taken from here. We serve a God of deep emotion, of incredible passion, of intense feeling. God is not a calm God, rationally considering all points of view and then mediating and building consensus among the major stakeholders. God reacts, He gets intense, He shows us His feelings and His heart.
And what I believe is in the deepest place of God’s heart is an intense, burning, passionate love for people. All people. Every where across the globe, from Guatemala to the pew next to you to the unsaved neighbor down the street.
Evidence for this claim:
Why do I believe this is what is found deep in God’s heart?
1. The entire story of human history can be summed up in this: God created. Man rejected. God Redeemed. Why did God create? And why, after being rejected, did God continue to walk with humanity, continue to reveal Himself, and even go to extreme lengths – the very death of His only Son – to enable us to come back into relationship with Him? Because of the depth of His love.
2. Whenever I read of God displaying intense emotion in the Bible, it is in terms of His relationship with us:
• Ps 103:8-18
• Ex 32:7-11
• Lk 13:34
3. Jn 3:16
Taking it further:
Deep in the heart of God is a passionate love for people. Let me take this one step further: The deepest passion in the heart of God is a love for people who do not know Him. Why do I believe this?
1. The shepherd left the 99 unprotected to seek the one that was lost.
2. Jesus spent His life among sinners, He identified with them, socialized with them, healed them, taught them, recruited them to be His disciples, and ultimately, He died for them. The woman at the well. Zacceus. The woman caught in adultery. Simon the Zealot. The man born blind. The ten lepers. Etc. etc. etc…
3. It even makes logical sense: of course God loves us, and is involved in our lives, and cares for us. And He knows He will have eternity to spend with us. Those who do not know His love have only this fleeting time on earth to come to know of the depth of His love for them, so of course they are a higher priority to God than we are.
So here is where I have to ask the difficult question: do the priorities of my life line up with the things that are most important to God? Do our priorities as a church line up with the passionate heart of God for people to come into a relationship with Him?
Let me share a story I came across this week:
John McArthur-Grace to You-The Life Saving Station
On a dangerous sea coast where shipwrecks often occur, there was once a crude little life-saving station. The building was just a hut and had only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea. With no thought for themselves, they went out every day and night, tirelessly searching for shipwreck victims. Many lives were saved by this wonderful little life-saving station, and so it became famous.
Some of those who were saved and various others in the surrounding area wanted to become associated with the station and give their time, money, and effort for the support of its work. New life boats were bought and new life-saving crews were trained. The little life—saving station grew. Some of the members of the life-saving station were unhappy that the building was so crude and poorly equipped. They felt a little more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those who were saved from drowning. So they replaced the emergency cots and the emergency beds and put in better furniture. Now the life-saving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely because they used it as a sort of social club.
Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on life-saving missions so they hired lifeboat crews to do the work. The life-saving motif still prevailed in the club’s decoration and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club met.
About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast and the hired crews brought in loads of cold, wet, half-drowned people. They were dirty and sick and some of them had black skin, and some had yellow skin. The beautiful new club was considerably messed up, so the property committee immediately had a shower house built outside the club where the victims of the shipwrecks could be cleaned up before coming inside.