Since Easter is just a few days away, I thought it would be fitting to give a few of my thoughts on the topic of Christ’s love for us.
I’ll start by referencing the most popular scripture in the history of the universe: John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I know what the popular consensus is about Christianity. And I know that most people see Christianity as something that is full of rules, full of things I can’t do rather than things I can do.
For those of you reading this and are really plugged in and love the church and really have a relationship with Christ, it makes it hard to talk to someone about coming to church or getting them plugged in because it’s “restrictive.”
I want to tell you tonight, God is a God of GREAT LOVE. not great condemnation.
For example, look at the very next verse in John: "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
God is not an angry God looking to smash people on the head when they mess up. God is not sitting in heaven waiting on you to fail.
God created you, do you really think he WANTS to hurt you? No. That’s why Jesus came, God loved the world SO MUCH, Jesus came to save it.
So here are three things I want to communicate about this GREAT LOVE. The love that God has that caused him to send Jesus to earth.
1. WE CAN’T EARN GREAT LOVE.
"It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!" - Eph. 2:8
I remember my first Job, it was at a grocery store here in town called “Food King,” I was 16 years old and just got a jeep, now I needed some income to pay for gas.
Since I was home-schooled, I got to work days. So I would go to work at 8 a.m., come home around 2 p.m. and work on school stuff. It was a pretty sweet gig because I still got to go hang out with friends at night and didn’t have to miss out on my “Life” because of a job.
I also remember getting that first paycheck. I looked at it and thought, this is mine… all mine! I could do whatever I wanted with it. At that time, the only things I HAD to pay for were gas for my jeep and insurance. Everything else was free game (until I got a girlfriend that is.)
My point is this, the paycheck I got I earned. I did the work to get it and because of my hours of stocking shelves and making sure that the bread hadn’t expired.
God’s love is totally different, there is nothing we can do to earn it. He has already given it to us. All we have to do is accept it.
2. WE CAN’T LOSE GREAT LOVE.
“Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits. Thank the God of all gods, His love never quits. Thank the Lord of all lords. His love never quits. Thank the miracle-working God, His love never quits. The God whose skill formed the cosmos,His love never quits…” - Psalm 136
David says “He never quits” 27 TIMES in Psalm 136 alone. God’s love never quits.
This scripture is written by a man who if God was going to give up on, it would have been David.
King David committed adultery with Bathsheba. Then knocked her up… He then tried to cover up her pregnancy, and when he failed with that, he had her husband Uriah the Hittite killed.
This was the chosen King of Israel, chosen by God himself to lead HIS people. God’s love never gave up though.
3. WE CAN’T UNDERSTAND GREAT LOVE.
"He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him." - Romans 5:7-8
As much as we try to love, we will never understand the kind of Love God showed us. As people, especially 21st century people. It’s hard for us to fathom the fact that we don’t have to earn something or that we can’t lose it.
The GREAT LOVE that God showed us meant dying for a people who were corrupt, dying for the people that put him to death in the first place.
Who does that? Who loves like that? Why?
There is an old song written by Frederick M. Lehman, and made popular by the band MercyMe several years ago called “The Love of God.” I thought the song’s lyrics were fitting for this blog…
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
The point is, we can’t understand God’s love. We can’t earn or lose it. He has already given it to us. All we have to do is embrace it.