It’s a day when expressions of love are far more natural than at other times. Frankly, I think it is worthwhile to take advantage of any opportunity to express the love we have for each other, whether in marriage, in the family, among friends or in the spiritual family. The whole human race is in desperate need of love. The one consistent expression of overwhelming love for all people comes from God. “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life, for God didn’t send his son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). That is the Scripture that we tend to hear more often about God’s love for us. But let me share a couple of others that give a different angle and may help us to see somethings that aren’t so obvious. In Romans 5:6-8 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The other one is in I John 3:1-3 “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”
Lay these three Scriptures alongside each other and notice some powerful truths about God’s love for us. First, God’s love is unlimited. He loves the world, meaning everyone in the world. His love isn’t limited to those who are already trying to do what he wishes. Even while we were in rebellion to him he demonstrated his love in giving Jesus his unique son to die on our behalf. Second, his love is active. It is easy to express love. It takes more to demonstrate it. I have no idea how many times I’ve sat with a couple and heard a husband say, “I tell her I love her regularly” only to have the wife respond, “yes, you tell me you love me but your actions and your eyes make it seem like empty words.” God demonstrates his love for us by the death of Jesus. “Greater love has no one that this to lay down his life for his friends.” Third, God’s love for us has a clear goal in mind. It isn’t to get something from us or give bragging rights to the Lord. His love is for the purpose of salvation. Sin has invaded every life. Sin pays very high wages since Paul will later say in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. God doesn’t want anyone to perish or be lost but longs for all people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9). His love strives to move us in the direction of what is the very best for us. Think of how much you love your children. Because of that love you long for the best things to happen in their lives. God loves us even more that we can even imagine and has better desires for us than we can possibly have for those we love. Fourth God’s love is deeply relational. He shows that love by making us family. He calls us his children and wants us to call him “Father”. He adopts us into his family. Because of the family relationship that he initiates in us he tells us that while we are his children now, the day will come when we are raised from the dead and we take on the same kind of resurrected body that Jesus has since he was raised from the dead. When we are raised we will see him as he is.
Such love from God should have a huge effect in our lives. If we really believe that God loves us so much and that he paid such a high price in order for us to be saved from sin and to have hope for eternal life in him, that hope should cause us to purify ourselves even as he is pure. God is the great lover. But he love is intended to have a response from us. His love makes the way for us, but our love, faith and hope lead us to react to his love by turning to him in faith, loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and even loving our neighbor as ourselves. When we have that kind of love for the Lord it naturally leads to our living obedient lives to him. The hope we have in him leads to a purified life where our lives have a single goal or purpose. Think of the fact that purity means unmixed just as when you purchase a product that is pure honey or pure sugar or pure olive oil. The label is declaring that it is unmixed with other products or ingredients. When God calls on us to have a pure heart it is to have an unmixed heart. Paul was expressing this purified heart in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do; forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” When our hearts are pure they are set on God’s call and God’s purpose for our lives. When our hearts are mixed we have all kinds of goals and dreams that lead to us trying to go in all directions at the same time and never really getting anywhere that matters.
The more we understand the amazing love of God the more we imbibe the spirit of love in our relationship with Him and with other people all around us. Speak love then show it in all you do.