“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God sent not the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through him.” —John 3:16-17
THE GREATEST RELATIONSHIP
Samuel Francis wrote the following words describing God’s love:
“Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus–vast, unmeasured, boundless, free. Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me. Underneath me, all around me, is the current of his love, leading onward, leading homeward to his glorious rest above. Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus spread his praise from shore to shore. How he loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore. How he watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all his own. How for them, he intercedeth, watchet o’er them from the throne.”
This powerful Christian hymn barely begins to scratch the surface in its attempt to describe Christ’s staggering love for his own. God in essence is love. He not only created us, but desperately wants to be in relationship with us, a relationship that can’t begin to compare with any human unions we have known. One theologian remarked, “Christ’s love is so intimate and personal that every human being could say that Christ became man for him or her specifically.” This depth of love (for those who are watching and waiting) finds full expression in the Advent of Christ “who is and was and is to come” (Revelations 1:8).
Love appears to be an easier topic for some of us than others. Some people easily give of their heart while others have giant walls built around their hearts and take time to let love flow.
According to Wikipedia, “love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.”
For example, the love of a mother differs from the love of a spouse, which differs from the love of food. Most commonly, love refers to a feeling of strong attraction and emotional attachment.
If we turn to the Bible to see what God says about love, we will find that God’s definition is often different than ours.
God’s love is all-encompassing.
In John 3:16-17, we are told that God’s love is for everyone in the world regardless of our physical appearance or financial status.
God tells us, in Luke 6:27-36, to love our enemies. How many of us do this? This one is particularly difficult.
While Christ was being crucified, He said “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). He loved us while we were persecuting Him.
God’s love is sacrificial.
Romans 5:7-8 tells us that Christ died for us while we were still sinners. We did not earn His love. He just loves us, and out of that love, He gave Himself for us.
God’s love is steadfast and unmovable.
In Romans 8:38-39, we are told nothing will separate us from God’s love.
How should the realization of God’s incredible love for us affect the way we see God, ourselves, and others? God’s demonstrated love has the power to strengthen our trust because we know that God cares. Additionally, remembering God’s amazing love can bolster our own sense of worth when life beats us down. And knowing that God loves all of us with an infinite and patient love should give us pause when we are prone toward anger, envy, or lack of forgiveness toward others.
God’s love has the power to change how we see the world. As we remember God’s love this Christmas, how do you feel God would like to change the way you view Him, yourself, and the people in your life?