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Friday, February 8, 2013

God's Love: Is it Enough?

God love produces love. Valentine's Promotion extended:
Each order until Feb. 28th receives 3 mini muralette hearts free
 ( one 3 inch, one 2 inch, and one 1 inch).

God's Love: Is It Enough?

Deuteronomy 6:5 commands us that we should "Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your might." Jesus reiterated this as the greatest commandment, and also affirmed that the second greatest was to "love your neighbor as yourself." What amazing commands! God's law can be sifted down to "love." But so much of the time we think that, or at least act like, God's Law consists merely of lists of dos and don'ts. God commands our heart first. And yet as soon as we think of this, most of us, if we dare to be honest with ourselves, will have to admit that we fall very short of even these two simple commands.

Is the answer to just try harder? Does the shame and guilt that we feel cause us to just work more at it?  Do we try to say to ourselves, we need to stop something that is keeping us from this or start doing something better? Is that where we stop?  We can work hard and let guilt pile on us until we finally despair of our own inability.  Sure, we may do well for a little while, until our other desires get in the way. Ultimately, it is not what we do that is the most important, it is what or rather, who we love. Love is key.

Our love is lacking. So, do we say...Oh, I need to work harder on loving then? Well, maybe. But in most of the Scriptures which command love for God and each other, there are declarations before the commands. Deuteronomy 6:1 God says, "I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt." He declared His loving care for them first. The same pattern appears in the New Testament. In Colossians 3, God commands our love by telling us to “put on a heart of compassion, kindness, gentleness, bearing with one another, forgiving each other." This is sandwiched in between glorious proclamations of God's love "so as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved," and "just as God in Christ has forgiven you." It is the work which God has done which makes our desires change. Really isn't that what the Gospel is anyways?

The gospel is declaration of the good news of what God has already done. It is not about us. It is about God. It is about how amazingly good God is and how we desperately need Him. So why stop trusting in God's goodness at the point of salvation and cling to our own pitiful self-righteous or self efforts? It is so wonderful that God actually tells us to love Him. Yet He doesn't do it without showing us His love for us first. Jesus is God's best picture of love. "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son" (John 3:16).

When we are down, when we are overwhelmed by life's circumstances, looking towards Jesus and God's amazing demonstration of His love should be more than enough to bring us up out of the pit of despair. God sent Jesus to live amongst us (His enemies), who killed, mocked, and rejected Him. This amazing love was willing to suffer all this from His creatures, as well as suffer the wrath of God the Father as he paid for our sins in His body on the cross (I Pet. 2:25) . If we truly wrestled with this truth and weren't so self-absorbed, or so consumed with our own pain, we would never doubt His love again. No, we would never love anything more than Him, even for a moment. We would never need to try harder to love the One who has loved us that much. In fact, we could count it a great privilege to love others with that kind of self-sacrificing love since we are so filled with Christ's. Let's rejoice in His love.

I'd love to see what other passages you find which declare God's motivational love.
 Please feel free to post them below if you feel so inclined.
Love, for Christ and you,