THE LOVE OF GOD

This article was written by Min. Robert J Klassen from Enderby, BC.  It was printed in the March 21, 2012 issue of the Messenger of Truth from Moundridge, KS.  I found it quite inspiring and asked for permission to reprint it.  He has kindly agreed, so I hope you also will be encouraged as you read it.

“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” I John 3:1

There are times when we need to stop and contemplate the love of God – what it really means to us and the whole of humanity.  God is love in every aspect of His being.  Everything He does is motivated by love, whether dealing with the world in general or with us as individuals.

God’s children have much to learn from the manner of His love to us.  Love gives, because love isn’t love if it doesn’t give.  Love forgives with no strings attached.  Love bears and forebears, enduring false accusations and suffering.  Love is unconditional, not being based on performance.  Love has no parameters.

For God to fully express His love, He chose to send His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish in eternal death but be able to enjoy eternal life.  In no way was God obligated to give His Son; He wanted to do this because His love moved Him.

The order of Old Testament worship involved sacrifices of various kinds.  One could easily believe that at times these were only ritualistic.  But surely many brought their sacrifices as love offerings to God who had delivered them from bondage.  At various times the door was also opened for freewill offerings, as at the preparation for the building of the temple.  David’s heart was enlarged toward God, which caused him to give in abundance of that which was in his hand.

Solomon and his people also sacrificed abundantly out of full hearts of love when the ark was moved to the temple and the temple was dedicated.  The whole plan of sacrifice and offering was a way for God’s children to express their love in worship.

Perhaps nothing in Old Testament history strikes a deeper cord in our hearts than that of Abraham taking Isaac, his only son, up Mount Moriah.  Abraham’s love for God was total.  He withheld nothing, not even his only child.  Oh, that we could have that type of love in our hearts today!

Parents understand how intimate Abraham and Isaac were and how extremely difficult it must have been for Abraham to take this journey.  Even as our children are a part of us, so
God was in Christ and Christ in God.  Yet God chose to give Christ as an eternal sacrifice to a lost world defiled by sin. God sent the Perfect to the imperfect, the Just to the unjust.  This was because of the manner of the Father’s love.

As Jesus neared the time of His death, He entered the house of Simon the leper in Bethany.  While He was there a woman entered, carrying a very precious and costly box of ointment.  Out of love for Jesus she broke it, anointing Him with it.  She wasn’t obligated, but she wanted to do this because she loved Him.  So God broke the most precious on behalf of those He loves.

After the Last Supper was shared with His disciples, Jesus led them to Gethsemane.  There He knelt in prayer for Himself.  We can’t comprehend all of what He foresaw at that time, but He knew why He had come to this world.  He must have felt the weight of the sins of the world and comprehended the awfulness of what lay before Him.

The Son of man shrank from it all but the Son of God, because of love, surrendered, humbling Himself and becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil. 2:8)

We, too, have our Gethsemanes.  Our flesh resists the surrender of our will, the cross, the denying of ourselves.  It is in our Gethsemanes that we choose to die because we want to live.  We are not obligated, but we want to.  With this surrender comes resignation and quietness.

To be concluded tomorrow…

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