Over the last four times I’ve posted, we’ve looked at attributes of God. He is infinite, so we could spend more than a lifetime searching and learning about Him. So far, we delved deep into God’s creativity, majesty, holiness and patience. Today, we’re going to look at the one attribute that people mention or think of the most when it comes to our Lord and Savior: love.
When you think of God’s love, these days, you’ll hear people say, “Oh, Jesus loved everyone!” or “love is equality” or “love is inclusive!” While God does love everyone—after all, He created all of us—sometimes love means letting the person go, and giving them a chance to embrace their sin and learn lessons the hard way.
In my Bible study group this morning, we talked about this in depth and the book we’re going through gave this example. It’s like a parent who tells their child to be careful doing different activities. But the child insists on disobeying. So, one day, while walking down the stairs, the father walks with the child just like always. But the child struggles and thrashes the whole way. So, on the final stair, the father lets the child go so they can learn the hard way that dad knows best.
God is our Heavenly Father. He created the entire universe and everything in it. Which means He knows what’s best. Not only does He know you and I best, but He knows the future. How can we ever think we know better than Him? So, sometimes love let’s go, so that we can grow and learn for ourselves.
Sometimes, love is tough. A little tough love never hurt anyone. I’m not talking about cruelty or abuse. But sometimes, our own stubbornness forces God’s hand.
But love is also unconditional. When you think about your friends, close family, or spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend, if someone asks you what you like about them or why you became friends with them in the first place, or what your favorite attribute is about your parent, sibling, aunt, uncle, grandparent, you can name off some specifics, like they’re smart, funny, energetic, they have a passion you love, you have a lot in common, or they’re attractive, etc. But the problem is that in life, human qualities can fade. So, what happens when people stop displaying those qualities?
Parents fight. Spouses divorce. Children leave home and never see their parents again. Siblings separate. Friends go their own separate ways. That’s because that isn’t true love—unconditional love.
God has that unconditional love for us. He chose to come down as Man—as Jesus Christ—to be tortured and killed to save us from wrath that was coming and He did that all while we were still sinners. When Jesus was on that cross, He died for my anger. For every lie we’ve ever spoken. Every item we’ve ever stolen. Every lustful thought or deed we’ve had or done. Every sin we’ve ever committed was upon Jesus’ shoulders that day.
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13Tweet
God showed us the greatest love possible when He died on the cross. But the greater news is that He rose again and with Him, He raised us up into New Creations so that we can be with Him forever if we so choose. We can be with Him in a perfect place where there will be no more sin or death, no disasters, diseases, no more breakups or betrayals, nothing. Everything will be good and perfect and whole and pure and true.
That’s the kind of love that lives outside of time and space, that is so deep and vast and whole and wide that we can never fully understand it. It’s the kind of love that protects and shelters, that is gentle and kind and loving and tough when necessary. The kind of love that holds you when your down, and pushes you to be stronger and better and brighter. The kind of love that has a wonderful plan for your life and knows every hair on your head like the stars in the sky. The kind of love that casts sin away as far as the east is from the west. The kind of love that always hopes and never fails.
It’s the kind of love that bled and endured and rose again—for you.