“The Amazing Love of God-Part 2”
It is hard to comprehend the depth of God’s love, but studying the different characteristics of His love can help us all appreciate the need to become better Christians. Understanding God’s love can help us appreciate the grace of God and the wonderful blessings we are so privileged to enjoy now and in eternity. Last week we began this study by seeing how God’s love is a tough love, a tender love, and a triumphant love. I want us to continue our study by looking at a few more facts about God’s love that can help us appreciate just how blessed we are to be in Christ.
1. God’s love is longsuffering and patient. We all would be in a great deal of trouble if this were not true. Just consider the children of Israel in the wilderness. Over the course of forty years they murmured and complained constantly about the care God was providing them. They began their journey in the wilderness with rebellion against God. Moses destroyed the golden calf they had made and returned to God on Mount Sinai, where God stated, “The LORD, the LORD God, Merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Ex. 34:6). God had every right to destroy the people for their rebellion and idolatry, but He yielded because of His longsuffering and mercy. When you study the Old Testament thoroughly, you can see the amount of patience it took for God to endure the sinful rebellion of His people. But, God was still able to bring Christ into the world to make salvation available for us all. I wonder if any of us would have been as patient with those people in the wilderness as God was. Now consider our own lives. When we look back on our past and consider the sins we have committed against a holy and just God, it really makes us appreciate the fact that God is as patient with us as He is. Without God’s longsuffering our salvation would not have been possible.
2. God’s love is a sacrificial love. Anyone who has been in love before knows that sacrifice is essential in any relationship. We are all willing to sacrifice for those we truly love. Love and sacrifice go hand in hand. But, there was no greater sacrifice in the name of love than the sacrifice God made for us. The apostle Paul wrote, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8). Notice how Paul describes mankind in the text. He refers to man as “ungodly” and “sinners.” When we sacrifice for our loved ones, it’s usually because of the mutual love they show us in return. God sacrificed His Son for all mankind; including those who despised Him. It truly is amazing! Consider the words of Jesus while He was suspended on the cruel cross dying for our sins. He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34). Jesus spoke of His love for man through His willingness to forgive them just before the very people He loved killed Him.
3. God’s love is a comforting love. When we consider the world around us, it is hard to find any lasting hope. Sin and moral depravity are flourishing everywhere, but we can always find comfort and hope in the love that God has for those who follow Him. We can read of His love in the Bible; we can pray for His love in our prayers; and we can experience the blessings of His love in His providential protection. -Ed