Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reflections on the Love of God

I just came across an internet article talking about the love of God. It stated that there are lots of messages around us in the world that suggest that we are unloved, unattractive and unworthy, and that the Lord wants to set us free from such lies.

While I was pursuing language studies at a university in the Black Forest, I met a young lady from the local church. She was looking back to a lot of heartache and pain in her life, which had driven her into an eating disorder. She had given herself away to various boyfriends before she finally put her life in order and got married to a godly man. I can still hear her saying to me: "I only wanted love; but I had to yield to their wishes in order to keep them." And then she made a comment about men in general that I don't want to repeat on this blog.

This young woman wanted to be loved, but she only got hurt.

Wanting to be loved and wanting to give love is an inherent human desire, planted into our hearts. So what is it than can quench this desire? Is it sex? In the case of my friend it formed a deceiving bond that could only be severed with a lot of pain and unpleasant memories. At best it can be a beautiful expression of human love within a God-ordained relationship. Although the marriage union may be an earthly picture of the relationship that the Lord wants with each of His children, human love will never really give us fulfilment in life. Even our most affectionate, deep and meaningful friendships here on earth will not be able to take the place of God's love.

Well, the answer is obvious to those who know who the real love giver is: Only the One who actually put this desire into our hearts can truly give us fulfilment. He has filled His Word with affirmation after affirmation of how He created us in His image, loves us immensely, valued us as worth dying for, and has a purpose and plan for each one of us.

Let's take a closer look into some verses pointing out the characteristics of God's love:

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love." Jeremiah 31:3

God's love is not temporal. While friendships end or fade away and marriages break, His love is everlasting and knows no limits.

"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us." I John 3:16

Because of His love for us, God even laid down His life for us by sacrificing His son.

"We love him, because he first loved us." I John 4:19

God's love is the origin, it was His motivation to create human beings after His own image.

"Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-30

This clearly shows that God's love knows no limits and there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from it.

Do you find it hard to grasp sometimes? I do. We cannot touch God after all. And yet, we can be touched by His love – the only kind of love that can transform us, fulfil us, and give our lives meaning and purpose.

I like this little illustration:

I asked Jesus. "How much do you love me?" He answered, "This much" and He stretched His arms and died.

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