Monday, February 1, 2016

Three Verses

1 "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love."  (Psalm 103:8, ESV)

2.  "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."  (1 John 4:8, ESV)

3.  "So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him."  (1 John 4:16, ESV)

Three verses......about God loving you and me.

Evidence of God's love for us abounds, perhaps with the greatest example in another verse which explains, "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."  When we can fathom that Bible truth, who can doubt God's love?  The world has taught us otherwise.  Where temptation comes, where days of illness visit, where evil seems to be larger than good, comes the natural man doubting God's love.

On the other hand, there are those who experience and believe God's love is an unconditional gift, explaining while God hates sin, he continues to love the sinner.  That may be hard for us to grasp but it's true.  Human nature finds it difficult to believe since we are part of a culture that teaches its children something like, "God doesn't love you when you do bad things."  We just cannot seem to get the idea of God's love for sinners.  Our favorite Bible verse may be John 3:16, "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but inherit eternal life."  Our problem in this is simple......we haven't learned to love like God loves.   And it does require a learning process. 

We have a tendency to love those that love us, yet we draw the line when refusing to love those that are unlovable. People say or do things that bring hurt to us, causing us to withhold our love for them.  But then we learn that God's love includes things like grace, mercy and forgiveness, and those are the areas where God's love trumps ours. 

Try this if you consider yourself as one loved by God.  Know that you are a sinner, but God still loves you.  If you really believe that, how can you classify other sinners as unforgivable or unloved?  When you can say aloud, "God loves me!" and know every other sinner can make the same proclamation,  then you are closer to understanding His love.  For some, it comes with tears, while others respond with rejoicing. It's something that humbles the strongest among us, when we learn God loves us.

Perhaps that's why God chose to teach us the lesson of his love, by telling us about our responsibility to love each other. Remember what Jesus said when asked about the greatest commandment. And one other verse speaks volumes on this subject....."By this shall all men know you are my disciples, if you love one another."

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