God so loved
August 2nd, 2019
The way God loves is so totally foreign to us, we can only begin to understand it.
Our grasp of love is at worst, modeled after the world’s standards for love; at best, a God imprinted version of the worlds standards which has been imbued with certain elements of genuine love of God.
When you talk to different believers, you’ll get a different impression of what this love of God is from their own personal experience. The problem with this is that our personal experience, despite how wholesome, regardless of the depth, no matter how enduring; cannot possibly begin to compare to God’s love, when our definition of love is built upon the world’s standards.
In order to really begin to comprehend this love, we have to negate all that we understand about love and accept in complete faith how the Word of God defines it.
When we do this, we set out on an adventure we could never anticipate. We will never have a full understanding of God’s love, but we can begin to wrap our minds around it with the help of His Word and His Spirit living in us.
Thank goodness this isn’t a permanent situation, because I personally and I’m sure you too, want to understand the fullness of God’s love.
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NLT)
Great news! Right now, we have no hope of coming to a full comprehension of God’s love, but then… Then “we will see everything with perfect clarity.” Many translations express this as being ‘known even as we are known’. It goes without saying that the one that created us, knows us better than we know ourselves.
But when we have perfect clarity, we will know God’s love, we’ll understand his mercy, we will comprehend grace’s depth and breadth, His justice, and his Holiness. Not in part, but completely.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
Jesus began to give us a glimpse of the depth of this love. The thing is, we seldom pay more than fleeting attention to this passage. We’ve heard it so many times, and it likely, if this was not the very first verse we learned, it had to be among the first five.
Just what does ‘God so loved the world’ mean?
When a young man changes his life plans because of the young lady he’s fallen in love with we can say ‘he so loved her he gave up something’. When a woman slights her friends so that she can devote time to the man she loves, we can say that ‘she so loves him’, she turned away from her social entanglements.
We get a vague impression of what ‘so loved’ means but it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.
Yes, he ‘so loved’ us he gave up his only Son to become our sacrifice to cleans us from our sin. That’s significant, that is life changing. But you see there is more. ‘He so loved us’, despite him fully knowing we would betray him, we would become lost to him in our sin and decay, we would fail consistently from being the people he calls us to be. And then cap that off with before he ever spoke a word in the creation event, he made the conscious calculation that if he was going to have that which he loved ‘so’, he would have to sacrifice in such a way to atone the unredeemable. Casting his righteousness upon us.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:4-8 (NLT)
Before he spoke the first star in place, He “chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.”, because he loved us SO!
An old adage about love is that someone ‘hung the moon’. God did substantially more than that, and it wasn’t just a figure of speech. He built a universe with countless galaxies and planets. And on one of those planets despite what he clearly saw ahead, He so loved us that he went ahead and created us.
He gave us free will so we could reject him if we so wanted to, but the reason he did that wasn’t so we could reject him, but instead he gave us free will so we could choose to love Him.
We have difficulty understanding when His Word tells us to forgive others no matter what they have done to us. Never mine loving others before we love ourselves.
Not only can we not measure up to that standard we can’t even comprehend it. He SO loved us!
Because of that love, he’s endured more than we can ever imagine. We will not fully comprehend it till we are standing before him; knowing as we are known by Him.
In His Grace!