God is a God of love. God is love. Love in its purest form. His word says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God: but if we loved one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12.
These are John’s words. They are affirmed by Jesus’ own words in the gospel of John, chapter 15, verses 13 and 17. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends… This is my command: Love each other.”
Jesus did just that. He followed through with what He preached and gave his own life, or rather, God gave His only Son, for us – filthy hearted, wretched, unrighteous sinners. Jesus knew before He said those words that He was going to die for us. Nothing anyone said to Him right then or at any other time in His thirty-three years on this earth would have changed that. He said it to set an example for us, foreshadowing His own act of love. God loves us so much that He sacrificed His only son to die a horrible death to save horrible people so that they could have everlasting life with Him. Why? Because in His eyes, they are worthy of His unconditional, unworldly love if only they believe in and surrender themselves to Him. How can anyone be worthy of a love like that? Would you want to give your love and your time spent in eternity to an awful person?
No. But we are people. He is God. We see each other through the eyes of another sinner. He sees us through rose colored glasses that only he has possession over. We will never understand as hard we try. It is not in our hardware to think or see people like him. His word says it perfectly in 1 Samuel 16:7, saying, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused Him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” So, no. It is not in a human brain’s hardware to judge or to love another human as God does. However, he made our hardware. He could’ve made us to love like Him if He wanted. But then we wouldn’t have a choice to choose Him or not, we would just naturally love the creator of our love who, himself, is love in its purest form. But it wouldn’t be love. It would just be the default feeling with no other options. We wouldn’t know to feel anything different. He made us because he wanted us. Because he wants us and loves us, He gives us the choice: Him or things of the world? What do we want to believe in? What do we want to devote our lives to?
That idea leads into the next adventure, but for right now, this unbelievably unbelievable love is the foundation of everything that has ever been, is right now, and will ever be. It is the foundation of our existence and the foundation of our God.
“The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your ancestors that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.” -Deuteronomy 7:7-9
“This is my command: Love each other.” -John 15:17
Overflow is excited to introduce a new blog segment called “Jesus Journal” written by one of our freshmen students, Alison Stephens! Alison loves coffee, Jesus, and is currently studying Managerial Studies at Tiffin University. We are so grateful to have her as a guest blogger this semester. 🙂