A Feeble Attempt To Explain How Much God Loves Us

My calling is to take God's message of love to a broken generation. From day one I understood to whom I was called--"a broken generation," but what was this "message of love?" I began our work to reach men, but constantly prayed for an insight about "the message." But it remained opaque for a decade.

Then one day it hit me: Jesus Christ is God's message of love.

First and foremost, I was overwhelmed by the simplicity of "God's message of love." Such beautiful knowledge, so mysteriously withheld--no doubt for the elevated impact its time-lapsed revelation had (and continues to have). As the saying goes, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (Proverbs 13:12).

And then there was the embarrassment. Yes, I felt a little stupid. (Fortunately, Jesus and his gospel had been my message, pending these further instructions). And humbled (I'm estopped from ever claiming any superior knowledge). 

The love of God has become especially precious to me and, no doubt, to you too. Is your experience anything like mine? I've pursued a deeper understanding. But the more I learn the more I see I will never have more than a child's understanding. Perhaps that's what he wanted all along. Simplicity. "Come as a child."

Here are seven truths about the love of God that have come to leave me speechless....

1. Why does God care about us so much? Of all God's attributes and characteristics, only love inspires him to stretch out a hand down for us. Not his holiness, omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, or anything else. Only love. Fortunately for us, "God is love" (1 John 4:8). God has done for love what he would do for no other reason. 

2. How does God manifest his love? It is through Jesus that God loves us. "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:9-10).

3. As his adopted children, He loves us with such generosity that it can be hard to take in. "How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God--and that is what we are" (1 John 3:1). Perhaps no image captures the heart of God more than that of a loving father who adopts an unwanted child, even while knowing there will be many heartbreaks ahead.

4. God our Father loves us with the same love with which he loves Jesus. Praying to our Father, Jesus said, "You have loved them even as you have loved me" (John 17:23).

5. Not only that, Jesus loves us with the same love with which the Father loves him. "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you" (John 15:9).

6. This great love the Father and Jesus have for us comes through the Holy Spirit. "God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us" (Romans 5:5).

7. Only the love of God through Jesus can make us fully alive. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved" (Ephesians 2:4-5).

So when you feel a little puny and need a hug, dwell on Jesus. In Jesus, we can experience an abundant life, regardless of our circumstances. Jesus Christ is God's message of love.

Until every church disciples every man…

Pat