As finite and sinful human beings, trying to understand the perfect, unconditional, generous, and gracious love of our infinite God is very difficult. In fact, we can never fully understand it because, unlike ourselves, God is love. In the essence of HIs being He is perfect love. We, of course, are not but God has given us all we need to come to a sufficient understanding of His love.
In God’s Word, He has displayed and described His love and the knowledge we receive in reading and studying about HIs love imparts joy to our hears, confident assurance to our minds, and peace and hope to our souls.
Let’s look to the “Book of Love,” the Bible. It reveals the lover of our souls and tells a great deal about His love for us. We’ll rely heavily on the words from the apostle John, the one Jesus called beloved. While Jesus loved all His disciples (including Judas), all His followers, and all people during His earthly incarnation, John was the one disciple singled out for a special recognition as the “one whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23, 20:2, 21:7, 21:20). In the epistles John wrote, he magnified the great love of Jesus, for all people and especially His own. In his first letter, John uses some form of the word love 46 times. In his second letter (which is only 13 verses long) he uses love four times, and in 3 John (14 verses long) he uses love twice.
John reminds us that the love we have for God and for others comes from God.
1 John 4:19 We love Him because He first loved us.
How can we understand God’s love?
It truly is incomprehensible because we are unable to love like God loves us. But God has given us the Holy Spirit, whose job it is to conform us to the image of Jesus (Rom 8:29) and that includes transforming our minds and warming our hearts so we can love in a way that increasing reflects the ways God loves us.
As a way to better understand God’s love, let’s take an A-Z look at how the Bible reveals His His love for us.
1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
Eph 1:4 …He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,
1 John 4:8 …God is love.
Eph 4:7, 12 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift….for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Deu 7:9 Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.
Psa 103:8 (NIV) The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
1 Tim 1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Rom 5:5 …the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Eph 3:17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
2 Cor 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
1 Pet 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
Titus 3:4 …the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared
Gal 5:13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
1 John 4:9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
1 John 4:8 …God is love.
Rom 8:39 …the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Rom 15:30 …the love of the Spirit…
John 17:21-23 “that they [believers] all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
1 John 4:11, 12 …we also ought to love one another…If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.
Psa 119:159 Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.
Isa 63:9 In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the Angel of His Presence saved them; In His love and in His pity He redeemed them; And He bore them and carried them All the days of old.
Titus 3:4-6 …when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared…according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit…whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior.
John 13:1 …having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
Unfathomable, Unfailing, Undeniable and Unending Love
1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Song 8:7 Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it.
Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
1 Cor 13:13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Psa 111:1, 4 Praise the LORD! I will praise the LORD with my whole heart…He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The LORD is gracious and full of compassion.
X- Exceeding Love
2 Cor 9:14 …the exceeding grace of God in you.
Eph 1:19 …the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power
Eph 2:7 …the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Eph 3:20 …Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.
1 Tim 2:3-4 1 Tim 2:3 …God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Isa 9:6-7 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.
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Do not be anxious about anything. (Phil 4:6)
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control. Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19. As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.”
Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it: Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live: Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.
God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble. When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19
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to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15). When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.
When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, even a small tract can help in turning a broken sinner from darkness to light.
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