Wednesday, 25 April 2012
In the strive to continually give our all to God, it can be easy to forget why we're doing it. It can be easy to lose sight of the very thing that made us want to give ourselves to God, that made us want to be a Christian in the first place: Love. At its core, true Christianity is a love relationship between us and our wonderful God. If there is no love, there is no Christianity.
God loves us. He loves us so much! He loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die in our place, when it should have been us. Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." We were guilty because of our sin, and we absolutely deserved to die for it. But God spared us and instead sacrificed His own Son. And He did it out of His intense love for us. When we respond to that love by loving Him back, that's when we become a true Christian.
The first step, of course, is accepting the love God has for us and beginning a relationship with Him by becoming saved. Sin, something all humans are guilty of, put a block in the communication of love between us and God; I think of it kind of like clouds blocking out the sun. When we confess our sins and ask God to forgive us, He does it faithfully because He loves us. And we seek forgiveness because we love Him. It's a two-way street. Then the street is clear. We'll still sin sometimes because we're human and humans are imperfect creatures, but God IS perfect, and His love never fails, just like it says in 1 Corinthians 13:8. His forgiveness has already burned away the clouds, and we get to bask in His sun forever.
Most of us probably already know that, but it never hurts to hear it again. Read 1 John 4:7-21 to get a good, Biblical reworking of the things I just said, because if it isn't in the Bible, don't believe it.
God's love for us is without limit. No matter what we've done or how many times we walk away from Him, He's always right there, ready to pick us back up and take us into His arms.
It can be easy for me to forget how much I love God if I'm focusing on something I should be doing for God or a lesson I should be learning. But it's not hard to see that I'm surrounded by a hundred indications of His love for me. He created this beautiful world and the hundreds of thousands of amazing and wonderful animals and plants that inhabit it. Every breathtaking landscape, every beautiful little flower, is a work of art created by our loving God for our enjoyment. How could I not respond in kind?
It makes my heart swell to think of the amazing love God put into this world He created for us, and to think of the many other faces of God. Artistic Creator is just one; He's also the comforting presence in the quiet moments, the gentle arms around me. He's the sovereign King of the universe who still bends His ear to hear us, His children. He's a vengeful and jealous defender of His people. He's the spectacular Scientist who put the planets into motion.
And He loves me. Tiny, insignificant, nothing-special me. I don't know why He loves me, but He does. And that's the basis of everything I do. My discipleship, my Christianity, is a love response. It's my desire to give all to Him; it's my hunger for more of Him. This love, this relationship, is the basis of everything; it's the foundation that everything else is built on. Nothing that is not built on that foundation can stand.
In what way is your relationship with God a love response? In what ways has God shown His love to you, and how have you responded to that love?