God is Love…Really

John 3:16 is one of the most quoted verses in the entire Bible. It tells us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” The passage goes on to say in verse 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” God does not merely love—He is love. He is the embodiment of that gift.

When Adam fell, instead of cutting His losses and annihilating His creation, He made a way. He sent His only Son. His only. He did not have to, but He did. And when Jesus walked this earth He could have chosen not to die. But instead He chose to do the will of the Father that we might be reconciled to Him. There is no other way back to God except through Jesus Christ.

“For I am persuaded that neither death or life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV) People have twisted this verse to support an inclusive false doctrine. It does not mean that we cannot physically and spiritually be separated from God. It means what it says—that no matter what we do or where we go He will always love us.

Parents can understand this concept. A parent’s love for their child is all-encompassing—never ending. I love my children and because I do I guide, I correct, I discipline. “For whom the Lord loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.” (Hebrews 12:6-11 NKJV) I just have to say that again—that we may be partakers of His holiness.

What people often forget amidst the love of God is—He is love; but He is also Holy, Righteous and Just. Nothing will EVER separate us from the love of God. He will always love us. Always. But He has given us the choice—free will. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.” Not only did He give us choice—He gave us the answer. Choose life! 

Thoughts, Truth

A Father’s Love

I went to Walmart today (I know, big mistake) to fill a prescription that was supposed to be ready by 11:15am (It wasn’t, but that’s a story for another time.) I walked around and browsed to kill some time. As I crisscrossed through the store I passed a certain woman several times. She had the cutest baby girl in purple footie pajamas with ruffles on her backside. My heart literally ached for my baby girl, Isabel, who we lost to miscarriage at 17 weeks. I looked and each time my heart constricted with a particularly acute feeling. Not a feeling of grief, loss, or even anger. The best I can describe it as is—lonely… longing… yearning. To see her face, to smell her hair, to comfort her, and guide her in this life. That is the job of a parent; to protect, teach, correct. To love above all else—no matter what.

As I drove home I pondered on that feeling. That longing feeling for this relationship that should have been mine but was so cruelly and suddenly taken from me.

In a much larger scale I would imagine that was how God felt when he found Himself on the outside, looking in on His creation. When Adam fell, God was separated from the people He had created to have an intimate relationship with Him. Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. They talked, had fellowship. Then suddenly, without warning and through no fault of His own. The awful tearing of separation.

Whether we know it or not, we were created to be sons and daughters of the Most High God. We were created to partake in a relationship no other creature in heaven or on earth will experience. I can imagine God looking over the banister of heaven—always waiting, always loving. Watching those who have chosen to run as far from Him as possible. People who may even curse Him. Yet there He waits with a Father’s heart, longing to be reconciled with His children.

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)