The Love of God
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we love God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 Jn. 4:9,10). "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (1 Jn. 3:16). "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for 'us" (1 Jn: 3:16). "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us" (1 Jn. 4:16). "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God" (1 Jn. 3:1).
The best part of this essay is inscribed above. "And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of" the height, the depth and the width of the love of God which "passeth knowledge." However, with a trembling hand and a grateful heart, we shall seek to magnify our theme and glorify our Rock and our Redeemer.
"It is staggering that God should love sinners, yet it is true. God loves creatures who have become unlovely and (one would have thought) unlovable. There was nothing whatever in the objects of His love to call it forth; nothing in man could attract or prompt it. Love among men is awakened by something in the beloved, but the love of God is free, spontaneous, unevoked, uncaused" (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, pp. 108, 112).
Expressions Of God's Love
All men enjoy the tokens and expressions of love a nice gift, a warm smile, a kind word. God has not left us without the evidence of His love.
(1) In The Physical, Material Realm. We take for granted the beauty of our planet. But imagine a world without the aesthetic sounds and shades of nature. Every stream that gurgles and babbles, every bird that coos and calls, every sunrise and sunset's radiance and light bathes us in the temporal beauty of the love of God. Surely, the canopy of heaven on a night "clear as crystal" is a taste of the artistic talent of nature's Creator. The shimmering splendor of a silver star enlightens the heart if not the pathway. Have you never been entranced while watching an eagle soar or hearing an ocean roar and spend itself on the sands of an endless shore? All of these are the touches and brushes of the Master's stroke. The earth is the canvas of His hues and tints and tones from whence we view the handiwork of God.
(2) In The Spiritual Realm. See and review the texts of our introduction. Observe that God's love is shown in what God did. The sending of Christ and His sinless, selfless sacrifice reveal God's love for sinful man. Some translations render Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrated his love for us" by having Christ to die in our place. Time and the ravages of life may steal our ability to enjoy the grandeur of our earthly domain, but "I am persuaded that 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" (Rom. 8:38, 39). "But though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" (2 Cor. 4:16). The cross of Calvary, above and beyond the manger of Bethlehem, manifests the love of God.
All the signals of love commence with the death of Jesus, but emanating from the cross, like sparkling spokes from a glowing hub, are the attendant provisions of God's love. (A) "That we could be called the sons of God" (1 Jn. 3:1). Consider the pride one might feel if he could cite some famous and honored person as his parent. (Select your own hero.) Then, cease the idle dream and recognize what an exalted tribute it is to be called a son of God, a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. (B) The word of God is ours. It can be hidden in the heart (Psa. 119:11). It is a divine communication, a heavenly revelation. Occasionally, an "average citizen" in a local community will receive a personal letter from the President or some other head of state. A newspaper in the city will note the letter and write a story, complete with a photo of the recipient and his letter. All of these events occur because someone received a message from the President of the United States. How more wonderful, then, is the love of God because we have His word, His letter to us, to teach, to correct, to admonish and to comfort (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 1 Thess. 4:18). (C) Prayer. Esther was afraid to petition the king personally and directly (Est. 4:11). Few members of Congress, let alone "John Doe," are allowed to have a personal conference with the President. Think what a privilege we have to call upon our Creator and Savior and to know that He hears (Heb. 4:16; 1 Pet. 3:12).
Nature Of God's Love
(1) Active, Not Passive. "For God so loved that, he gave . . ."
(2) Not Eroded By Time. Time often dims the luster of man's ardor and devotion, but time cannot erode or corrode the love of God.
(3) Constant. It is steady. It is true.
(4) Personal. It is supremely, intensely personal - "the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal. 2:20).
(5) Has Moral Requirements. "Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another" (1 Jn. 4:11). "We love him because he first loved us" (1 Jn. 4:19). As God says, "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:17); so, we are to love because He loves.
(6) Described And Defined In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. "Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends" (RSV).
Use Your Bible!
Using your Bible answer the questions below
Theme #10: The Love of God
1. What is God declared to be? (1 John 4:16)
2. How great is God’s love for the world? (John 3:16)
3. In what act especially has God’s love been manifested? (1 John 4:9)
4. In what does God delight? (Micah 7:18).
5. How are His mercies continually manifested? (Lam. 3:22, 23)
6. Upon how many does God bestow His blessings? (Matt. 5:45)
7. What did Jesus say of the one who loves Him? (John 14:21)
8. Into what relationship to God does His love bring us? 1 John 3:1)
9. How may we know that we are the sons of God? Rom. 8:14-16)
10. How is the love of God supplied to the believer? (Rom. 5:5)
11. In view of God’s great love to us, what ought we to do? 1 John 4:11)
12. With what measure of love should we serve others? 1 John 3:16)
13. What exhortation is based upon Christ’s love for us? Eph. 5:2)
14. Upon what ground does God’s work for sinners rest? (Eph. 2:4-6; Titus 3:5, 6)
15. In what other way is God’s love sometimes shown? (Heb. 12:6)
16. In light of god’s great love, what may we confidently expect? (Rom. 8:32)
“A Walk With God”
We will “search the scriptures daily” (Acts 17:11) by reading through the entire Bible in a year for 2019. In this section of the Pekin Bulletin you will find the reading schedule to help you take “A Walk With God” so that you may grow closer to Him. This reading will be done in a somewhat “chronological order.” Enjoy!
01 – Luke 18:31 to 21:38
02 – Luke 22, 23
03 – Luke 24
04 – John 1:1-18
05 – John 1:19 to 4:54
06 – John 5, 6
07 – John 7:1 to 11:53
08 – John 11:54 to 17:26
09 – John 18-20
10 – John 21
11 – Acts 1, 2
12 – Acts 3:1 to 8:3
13 – Acts 8:4 to 11:18
14 – Acts 11:19 to 12:25
15 – Acts 13, 14
16 – James 1:1 to 3:12
17 – James 3:13 to 5:20
18 – Acts 15
19 – Gal. 1, 2
20 – Gal. 3, 4
21 – Gal. 5, 6
22 – Acts 16
23 – Phil. 1
24 – Phil. 2
25 – Phil. 3
26 – Phil. 4
27 – Acts 17:1-10
28 – 1 Thess. 1-3
29 – 1 Thess. 4, 5
30 – 2 Thess. 1-3
31 – Acts 17:11 to 18:11