A number of us had a wonderful discussion during the second service this past Sunday about the love of God as preached by Pastor John. It never really dawned on me before how the love of God may be one of the most profound doctrines in the Bible. Of course I understand that the cross of Christ was the demonstration of God’s love and that it is a wonderful, amazing, undeserved blessing that God would pour His love out on me at all. But I didn’t meditate enough on exactly what is the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love (Eph. 3:18-19).
Everyone on Sunday shared about how much more they needed to dwell on the love of God. In so doing, it would produce much desired fruit. Some shared that as a result they would want to know God’s Word more so that they could better understand God’s other attributes. Others stated that they would become more humble by a deeper understanding of God’s love. Still others shared that they would in turn love others more because of their greater appreciation of God’s love for them.
No one shared anything negative. There were no negative effects from meditating more on the love of God and thinking about its profundity. Unanimously, all shared that to think more on the love of God would essentially produce greater spiritual maturity.
So why don’t we dwell more on the love of God?
One sad reason may be that we do not think we need to dwell on it. Perhaps you feel like you have it down: Christ died for your sin, that was the demonstration of God’s love, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. What a remarkably proud approach to this amazing truth! The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church was that they would understand the depth of the love of God. Certainly this means that this doctrine would require quite a bit of attention if it is as deep and wide and long and tall as the apostle indicates.
Are you amazed at the love of God? If you were to think more about God’s love in your life taking to heart the passages in Scripture that teach about it, how would your life change? What would it benefit you to have a greater understanding of God’s love for you?
Here is just a glimpse of the God’s love. Consider these passages:
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. ~John 14:23
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. ~John 15:9
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. ~Romans 5:3-5
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ~Romans 8:35
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ~Romans 8:38-39
For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. ~2 Corinthians 5:14-15
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. ~Ephesians 1:3-6
But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~Ephesians 2:4-7
…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. ~Ephesians 3:17-19
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. ~Ephesians 5:1-2
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. ~Ephesians 5:25-27
…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. ~1 Timothy 1:14
But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~Titus 3:4-7
The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked. ~1 John 2:4-6
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. ~1 John 2:15
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. ~1 John 3:1
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ~1 John 3:16
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so 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. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. ~1 John 4:7-12
We love, because He first loved us. ~1 John 4:19