Summary: God’s love is best described by the cross
Having to preach twice in two days on two entirely different topics I honestly didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for tonight. All week long I had mentioned to a few people that the love of God would be an easy topic to preach on. “How can God’s love be difficult to explain,” I thought to myself.
As I sat in my office, reading different books and scriptures I struggled, pretty much all day, with how to describe God’s love in words. I stared at my computer and a blank Word document for almost four hours today. Every time I started to try and put something into words it just wouldn’t work. For most of the day I didn’t have more than two sentences typed down, which neither of which are being used now.
I started off by thinking of object lessons that could help us understand God’s love but I couldn’t find anything. I thought of telling the story of the first time that I told Melissa I love her and how she responded by saying dido and relating that to God’s love but that felt corny. I called Steve earlier and asked him if he had anything written up on the love of God to help spark my thoughts but he had nothing.
God used all of this today, to show me God’s love in an entirely different way as I realized just how deep, and how wide, and how great God’s love really is. Every scripture that I read, God used to pierce my heart, many times to the brink of tears. All I could think of as I read and processed was an image that I feel that I can’t put into words or even fully understand myself.
I would like to share with you guys a music video to help put this image into our minds.
***Read the verse at the end***
God’s love is best described in Christ’s death on the cross. Yet, I feel that words can not describe this love.
This passage in Romans that was in the music video describes us humans as powerless, ungodly, and sinners. In Romans 5:10 it describes us as enemies to God because of our disobedience and our sin. Other passages in the Bible have described us as having fallen away from God, having turned our backs on him, and having rejected him. But yet, despite all of that Christ came and died for us!!! Think about that!
How willing would you be to die for the bully at school that picks on you?! How willing would you be to die for someone like Sadam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden?! How willing would you be to die for a child rapist or a murderer?! How willing would you be to die for someone who treated you like dirt?!
Forget people who are deemed awful by culture’s standards, how willing would you be to die for anyone? Romans 5:7 proclaims this, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.” What Paul is writing here is that it is rare to see someone die for anyone good or righteous! How much more rare is it then, to know that Christ died for those of us, who again, are described as powerless, ungodly, sinners, and enemies of God!
As the different writers of the New Testament sat down to write God’s love story, they struggled with the exact same thing that I did all day today. The Greek language had, unlike English, three different words to describe love. There was storge which referred to love within a family. There was philia which talked about love between friends. And there was eros which talked about sexual love shared between a husband and wife. Those are all deep levels of love. Yet, the writers of the New Testament didn’t use any of these three words to describe God’s love.
They instead created their own word which was agape. Those people, some of them being witnesses to Christ’s love and death on the cross realized that no word described what Jesus did. No word had enough meaning to capture the love that God had for us! This is just where I have found myself today!
Today we throw the word love around all the time. “I love my boyfriend or girlfriend?” “I love Twinkies.” “I love MTV.” “I love my parents.” Saying, “I love Jesus,” just sounds mediocre and shallow when we think about how we use the word love all the time!
God’s agape love is bigger than I think I can fully understand. As I tried today, I felt I couldn’t come close without bursting into tears. I am a powerless man!!! I can do nothing by myself to get to heaven! I am an ungodly man!!! I do so many things to disobey God, to turn my back on Him, or to ignore Him! I am a sinner and I have proof of that every single day! But despite all of that, GOD DIED FOR ME!