Imagine that God, who holds us in His hands, allowed Himself to become so small that humans could hold him in their hands, all for the sake of love! That’s right, God, the Father, sent God, the Son, Jesus Christ, to earth and He lived among us to show us in person what real love looks like, sounds like, and acts like.
After growing up in the midst of us, a time came when He had to make the ultimate sacrifice. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” He demonstrated perfect love by willingly doing what only He could do. He accepted the punishment for all of humanity’s sins. By sin, I mean all the times that we, as humans, have not trusted God and turned away from Him to do, think, and say what was right in our own eyes, but against God’s character and Word.
Because Jesus is love, He allowed men to torture him, hang him on the cross, and shed His blood to wash away our sins. With His stripes we were healed. He laid down His life, knowing that in doing so, He would suffer the most agonizing punishment of all, being separated from His Father as payment for our sins, so that we would never have to be separated from Love. Then, with all power in His hands, He rose again so we could actually be with God (that’s right, to be with Love) throughout eternity.
Remember that there is no dividing line between what true love is and who God is. God is love and He loves you. He will not give up on you. No, there is no dividing line between God and real love. They are one and the same. If you would like to know more about true love, open your Bible to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
This scripture really means a lot to me, because there was a time in my life when I really, I mean really thought that I was great at loving others. (I wonder if God was looking down at me thinking, “My poor child. She’s in for a rude awakening!”) Then one day, I opened the Bible and read the above passage. As they used to say back in the day, it “blew my mind.”
I didn’t believe it. I couldn’t tap on the checkout counter and look at my watch while the clerk changed the tape? You mean to tell me that I couldn’t get giddy with delight when someone was punished for their wrong? I had to stop trying to get my own way? I had to stop singing my, “You Done Me Wrong”song? I couldn’t brag about all that I had done? God actually wanted me to burn my little black book of grudges? (Okay, so I didn’t have a little black book. I didn’t need one. I had stored all that unforgiveness and revenge in a place that was easily accessible… my heart.)
My, My, My, My, My!!
You’d better believe I had a lot to think about. It would take me a lifetime of trusting and believing and obeying my Heavenly Father in order to transform that kind of thinking. Yet, here I am over twenty plus years later, a ‘kinder, gentler’ person. And while I have not arrived yet, I am definitely pressing towards the mark. I see God’s favor all through my life and you know what I think?
God is wonderful!
He loved me so much that He rescued me from myself. Christ patiently taught me what love really looks like. Now, hopefully I can show others what He has shown me.
… so you too may enjoy the journey!
A question to consider – What do you think about all that Jesus willingly went through because of His love for you?
© 2009 God’s Perspective Publishing
This post has been republished from the archives in case you missed it.
Please rejoice us and read the next post on Enjoying the Journey3!