IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE LOVE OF GOD
Rev. Innocent Chukwudi Peace Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
If a person claims to love and know God, but it is clear in their actions that they are not loving towards the people around them, then this means that they actually do not know God. God is the epitome of love and we cannot have a relationship with Him if we do not express who He really is.
“And to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.”
IT is the distinguishing mark of God’s people that they know the love of Christ. Without exception all those who have passed from death unto life, whatever they may not know, have learned this. Without exception, all those who are not saved, whatever they may know besides, know nothing of this. An ungodly man may know something about Christ’s love; he may believe in the fact of it; he may perceive something of the theory of it. He may even be able to follow believers in certain expressions of its enjoyments. But to know the love itself, to taste its sweets, to realise personally, experimentally, and vitally, the love of Christ as shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, is the privilege of the child of God, and of the child of God alone. This is the secure enclosure into which the stranger cannot enter. This is the garden of the Lord, so well protected by walls and hedges that no wild boar of the wood can enter. Only the redeemed of the Lord shall walk here. They, and only they, may pluck the fruits and content themselves with the delights thereof.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The topic of God’s love is truly an overwhelming subject to try and tackle in only one message. There is so much that the Bible has to say about the love of God that I doubt anyone has ever come close to fully comprehending it.
God’s love clearly isn’t based on our spiritual condition or our moral predisposition. It isn’t based on our behavior or our attitude toward Him. Rather we see here that God’s love for mankind is universal and unconditional. He loves everyone. And this is one of the things that sets Him apart from every other god held up by every other world religion.
At a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God took human form in Jesus. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.”
Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.
Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, arm full of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what’s all this rumpus about?”
Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We’re debating what’s unique about Christianity.”
“Oh, that’s easy,” answered Lewis. “It’s grace.”
The room fell silent.
Lewis continued that Christianity uniquely claims God’s love comes free of charge, no strings attached. No other religion makes that claim.
After a moment someone commented that Lewis had a point, Buddhists, for example, follow an eight-fold path to enlightenment. It’s not a free ride. Hindus believe in karma, that your actions continually affect the way the world will treat you; that there is nothing that comes to you not set in motion by your actions. Someone else observed the Jewish code of the law implies God has requirements for people to be acceptable to him and in Islam God is a God of judgment not a God of love. You live to appease him.
At the end of the discussion everyone concluded Lewis had a point. Only Christianity dares to proclaim God’s love is unconditional…an unconditional love that we call grace. Christians boldly proclaim that grace really has precious little to do with us, our inner resolve, or our lack of inner resolve. Rather, grace is all about God and God freely giving to us the gifts of forgiveness, mercy, and love.
So God’s love for us is unconditional. It is as Philip Yancey once wrote: “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.”
How many times have you heard or even said yourself: “I can’t give you that because it’s the only one I’ve got.” We’ve probably all said that. But we learn here that God didn’t have a back-up. God didn’t have a spare. But He loved us so much that He was willing to give us the only one He had. “The power and passion of God’s love comes across, not through a supposed special meaning of the Greek word involved, but through the length to which God was willing to go for the sake of the world.” To give His “one and only.”
You see, we’ve gotten it all wrong for far too long. We think that we have to be perfect; that we have to be good to come to God; that we have to do something to earn God’s love. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, according to the scripture, there is nothing we could ever do to be “good enough” in God’s eyes. That is why God sent His Son to die for you and me….because we’re not good. We’re sinners. But Jesus paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. He made it possible for us to “come home”. A loving God is waiting with open arms. It’s time to stop running away. It’s time to go home.
If you’ve never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior; if you’re not sure that if you died today you’d spend eternity in heaven; please don’t put salvation off another minute. It’s too important. God loves you. He sent His Son to die for you so that you can have eternal life. Salvation is a gift freely given by God. All you have to do is reach out and accept it. If you wish, you can pray a simple prayer like this:
Lord, I know that I’m a sinner. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. Today, I accept the payment that Jesus made on my behalf and I ask you to save me.
Welcome to the loving household of God!
Dear God, I pray that I may never be ignorant of the way I treat people. Lord I want to know you completely and I know that in order for me to do that, I need to be loving to every single person around me. May you help me live this out, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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