Just How Much Does the Lord Love You?
July 1, 2013
To know just how much the Lord loves us, we need to take a look at what love really is. Quickly: what is the opposite of love? Like nearly everyone else, you probably said, "Hate is the opposite of love." Actually, according to 1 John 4:18 fear is what we have when we don't have love. ...but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
"Really? Fear?" you say. Think about it. Because God is love, if we don't have Him, what do we have? Are we filled with anger, or are we filled with fear, which results in expressions of anger, hatred, and rebellion?
So why is fear the opposite of love? Actually, the natural man has a lot to be afraid of. But the man that has God also has love. If God is love, then if we have God, we also have love. How can we fear anything, either in this life, or in the one to come, when we have God and his love? And if we don't have Him, how can we have anything except fear? With God, we have fear of other people, fear of hell, and fear of God. Because this fearful person is alive, among men, and has this life to deal with, he somehow needs to function. We as people tend to give to others what we have ourselves, whether it is fear or love.
Have you ever seen a group of youngsters fight an animal? They hit or throw things at the otherwise perfectly tame animal. The animal, if it can't get away, will respond by doing what? It will growl, hiss, snaps its teeth, and respond by trying to scare its tormenters more than the animal itself is scared.
A wife, for instance, might try to control her husband, because she is afraid (fear) of what her husband is going to do if she isn't in control. She likely displays anger and intimidation, either openly or via offensive words, in order to get her husband to do what she thinks is right.
You see in these examples that fear results in outward actions that can lead to even worse things. Fear leads to many things, but never love. Fear, if not dealt with, results in incredible destruction.
We have a powerful God. Even the demons tremble in fear. ...the devils also believe, and tremble (James 2:19). What do we have to lose by turning to Him, and his love? We have nothing to lose, except fear itself. He takes us as we are, fearful, angry, and rebellious, because of His love. We can do nothing except go to him as we are; we have nothing in ourselves to offer. Through Christ, he restores us and fills us with true love.
God asks us to love those who mistreat us. Why? Well, isn't that exactly what he did for us? We mistreated Him terribly. Even though we may not have directly cursed him, who among us hasn't cursed God by rejecting His Son? If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema [cursed,] Maranatha [for the righteous judge is coming] (1 Corinthians 16:22). Who among us hasn't been angry with God, perhaps even swearing in His name? None of us were born guiltless; none of us have not first rejected the Lord. We all need to accept the righteous atonement of the Lamb.
Let me ask you: how hard is it to love your enemy? "Well," you may say, "I haven't ever sought revenge on my enemies. I always walk away without saying anything back to them." "Ok," I reply, "that is fine. But, Jesus asks us to do more." In fact, he says, Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:42-46).
Wow. Isn't that something? Because we ask, He gives us what we ask for, even though we were His enemies. That is awesome and frightening at the same time. That is a lot of love. Here are a few verses to think about:
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Romans 5:10).
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? (Matthew 7:7-10).
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me (Revelation 3:20).
So, my friend, it is very clear that while we have been enemies of God, He is standing and knocking at the door wanting to be let in! His love is so great, that He sets aside all we did against Him, in order to love us. We know how amazing this is, as we were yet sinners when he made the first step by knocking. We know how hard it is to love our enemies, to really love them. It's very hard to bless them as God blessed us, extending the good news to them of salvation through Jesus Christ's perfect atonement, once and for all. In looking at how hard it is for us to love our enemies, we get a little glimpse of how much God loves us. His love is tremendous.
My friend, if you hear the knocking, let Him in. It isn't easy from an earthly perspective. In fact, we will be asked to suffer for His sake. However, when persecuted, we are given an opportunity to love as He loved us. To be given an opportunity to love our enemies as He loved us is a blessing we will never understand until we've been there ourselves.
With this verse I leave you: Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen (Ephesians 6:24).
« Back to Articles