walk in the word
Category: God’s Character, Spiritual Life
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” 1 John 4:10
During the Christmas season on the broadcast we’ve been talking about God’s amazing love for you and for me. Frankly that phenomenal truth can easily become like our decorations and strings of lights that we unpack, put out, and pack up again every year. “Well, Christmas is over and we can stop talking about all that love, joy, and peace on earth stuff till next year.” But wait. Lest we lose the force of this message I would invite you one more time to consider the proof that God’s love for you is amazing.
Proof? Who needs proof? Sometimes we all do. When people go through difficult things many wonder ‘Does God really love me?’ Sometimes people insulate or isolate themselves from the message of God’s love. Others’ skepticism distorts their capacity to embrace God’s love. If you are that person, I want to speak truth into your life today that could change your life both now and for eternity.
Let’s begin with 1 John 4:7, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation…”
God sent His Son into the world: This is love demonstrated.
First, because of WHO was sent. God didn’t send a slave or a servant; God sent His Son, the Second Person of the Trinity. God came Himself.
Then, because of WHEN Jesus was sent. It’s hard to even think about it but in a tragic moment, a parent could give up their child. But to think that in eternity past God had already determined that He would send His Son. Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus was “the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” Every interaction between the three Persons of the Trinity through all time had this dark cloud hanging over it. He was sent before time began. That’s love.
Because of WHERE He was sent. The scene we see on Christmas cards, on front lawns, and in our churches is Jesus in a manger. Every time you hear the word “manger” from now on, think humiliation. And then there was the cross. Every time you think of the cross, think substitution. Jesus—in my place. What a price to pay! What love that demonstrates!
Finally, notice WHY Jesus was sent. Hang on here; this is going to get very personal. The rest of 1 John 4:9 says God’s purpose in demonstrating His love through His Son was “… so that we might live through Him.” Ephesians 2:3 tells us clearly that apart from Christ, every one of us is spiritually dead, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked… among whom we all once lived in the passion of our flesh…, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” God sent His only Son into the world so that you might live through Him!
Your story would be “Man, I used to be just trudging through life, trying to make myself happy, but my life was a big waste of time. But THEN I found out about Christ, and how much He loves me! And now my sins have been forgiven, and I have the promise of eternal life!” Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you have it? God loves you!—the proof is His Son.
The most important thing about you is what you believe about Jesus Christ. It’s not where you live or who you know or how much money you have. By far nothing about you really matters compared to this single thing—What do you believe about Jesus Christ? What have you done with the manifestation of God’s love to you? This is everything.
This is the love of God, that He sent His Son into the world to be the payment for our sin. There is no other provision for your forgiveness. God has no other plan. The amazing thing isn’t that there’s only one way to God; the amazing thing is that there’s any way at all! This one way is through Jesus Christ the Lord, God’s Son, who came into the world to offer us life. Romans 6:23 says that “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.” God’s love is amazing but merely admiring it, or respecting it, or acknowledging it is a long way from experiencing its benefits in your life, now and in eternity.
Don’t just observe God’s gift from a distance—if you do, you can not be prepared to meet the Lover of your soul, the Creator of the universe, Almighty God. I tell you this last time, He loves you. Embrace the ultimate expression of His love by receiving Christ Jesus as your Savior.
God, thank You that every person reading this is known by You. Thank You, Lord, that You know what barriers and resistances exist in our hearts that would keep us from experiencing Your amazing love for us. So Lord, I pray in this moment that by Your Spirit and according to Your truth, You would stir our hearts and help us to see how true it is, Your amazing love for us. This we pray and ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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