Month: February 2021

God’s love is passionate

God’s love is never half-hearted or compromised by weak or questionable motives. All expressions of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are a perfectly synchronised outpouring of His holy character. God’s passionate nature runs red hot with affection for His people. Yahweh is not capable of stoic, dry, or lifeless emotion. Lukewarm affection is never on His agenda. Redemption and forgiveness according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight (Ephesians 1:7-8) gives evidence that His love is a lavish love.

God’s love is passionate

Paul prayed that believers, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend… the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge… (Ephesians 3:17-19). This is to be the lifelong exploration of every Christian, searching out the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:7) which fuels our worship.

David told Gad that the Lord’s mercy is great (2 Samuel 24:14), so great, that Paul says God is rich in mercy (Eph. 2:4). God is wealthy beyond compare with loving mercy. It can never get outspent, there is more than enough for every sinner who comes to Him in faith. Nehemiah spoke the same sentiment, you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Nehemiah 9:17). The love of God is a sacrificial love that gives at great personal cost, for God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3: 16).

The Lord is full of compassion (James 5: 11), and His steadfast love never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23). God’s love never tires, nor does He hide or mask Himself from His people. Access to His heart is always wide open.

In Jeremiah 32:41, the Lord says of His people, I will rejoice in doing them good… with all my heart and all my soul. The Lord your God… He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17). God’s love celebrates His children, I will… be glad in My people (Isaiah 65:19). God does NOT simply tolerate us; He celebrates us in His Son Jesus Christ.

Take note of God’s kindness to you (Romans 11:22). When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, He saved us… according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:4-5). There is nothing timid, weak, or indecisive about our God. He consistently implements His love into our lives fully and without restraint, keeping us pure in His sight despite our many stumblings. He is never distant or detached from His people, but proactive and assertive with His undetachable love. Even when we are faithless, He remains faithful (2 Timothy 2:13).

Moses proclaimed that the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14). His love is possessive and protective over all those He attaches His affection to. God will never love someone only to later change His mind or withdraw His affection. Once loved by God, that believer is forever loved by Him. We are forever immersed in Christ, in the strongest and most passionate relationship imaginable. Knowing this, lets us unitedly do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

God’s love, justice, and righteousness

The more self-absorbed this world becomes; the less people care about how God reveals Himself. Despite this, God clearly reveals Himself to us through His written Word and creation. Jeremiah 9:24 showcases God’s affections. Let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.

God’s love, justice, and righteousness

One of the reassuring lessons from this passage is that God says it is possible for a person to know and understand Him. This relationship is to be their boast, or the confidence of that individual. This personal awareness of God is not the source of ego or pride, but humility and gratitude as one who observes God.

On this occasion, the Lord explains through Jeremiah that three facets of His unchangeable character operate in unison. What’s more, the Lord is steadfast in these three. That is, God is perfectly consistent in all His expressions of love, justice, and righteousness. These three are inseparable and mutually engaged in the operations of each other. There is never a time when God expresses any one of these three without the other two being in operation also.

Here the Lord confesses that in these things I delight. These bring God pleasure and heighten our realisation of the holy correctness of these three character traits. From our perspective, we see God on display through these three in all the earth. And we joyfully wait for the day when the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:23) shall transport us to Heaven where we shall see all of God’s glory displayed without limitation or restraint.

Through him (Christ) we have also obtained access by faith into this grace (Justification/Innocence) in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). Grace is a profound truth which only the Holy Spirit can enable us to grasp and appreciate. God the Father’s grace has made it possible for us to come to Him through His Son. Faith in Christ sees us declared innocent and standing in an irreversible relationship with the Father. Being awakened to the enormity of this spiritual transition, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

There are two levels at which we rejoice. First, because we are eyewitnesses of God’s love, justice, and righteousness working in us unworthy sinners through salvation, which God initiated on our behalf. He saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (2 Timothy 1:9). Now that’s glorious! So, we praise Him for His grace. We speak well of His Son Jesus Christ. We exalt the glorious character of our God. It’s as Paul celebrated with the Corinthians, I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1:4).

Secondly, we live in anticipation of God’s grace liberating us from this dark world into His glorious presence in Christ. God has made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:5-7). Heaven shall be our endless statement of God’s grace which enabled us to discover that He is the God of steadfast love, justice, and righteousness.

God’s holiness in love

The Bible tells us that anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8), which is confronting at two levels. First, this verse tests our understanding of God’s love nature. Second, this challenges how God’s love is, or is not, expressed in our behaviour as Christians.

God’s holiness in loveJohn declares that God does not simply possess love, His very essence of being has always been love from eternity past. God’s love has never been added to, it has never changed or been modified, and can never vary or diminish. God’s intrinsic holiness perfectly permeates all facets of His nature, including His love. More than anything else, holiness sets God apart as God.

The six-winged Seraphim who hover the throne of God continuously call to one another declaring, “holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:2-3). His holiness is formed through all His other Godly attributes, defining, and amplifying His unchangeable pure awesomeness. Holiness elevates His love far above emotion only. Nowhere are the perfections of divine holiness radiated more brilliantly than through His love.

It is God’s uncompromising holiness that distinguishes His love from human emotions and affections in every way imaginable. Therefore, with Jesus being God in human flesh (John 1:1-14), we see out-of-this-world love manifested throughout His life. Jesus’ selfless love is not only humble, patient, kind and affectionate, but continuously maintains perfect holiness without any imperfections.

Jesus’ love was one of obedience, I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father (John 14:31). Jesus explained to a group of argumentative Pharisees, for this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again (John 10:17). We do not see the extremity of obedient and sacrificial love anywhere as profoundly as on the Cross of Calvary and Jesus’ resurrection. The Cross displays a degree of holy love which transcends our human rationale.

Love this pure is the initiator, God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Christ and His Heavenly Father did not wait for us to come to them, because they knew that could never happen due to our sinfulness and spiritual deadness (Ephesians 2:1). So, they acted first.  This is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10). God initiated His love toward us long before we were even born. God the Father and Son took our guilt, our sin, to the Cross of divine judgement. There, justice was served for our sin upon the sinless Son of God and the judge was appeased, fully satisfied that the full penalty had been paid.

God’s holiness in love knows no limits. It is never constrained by selfishness or distorted by corrupt desires. We see His persevering and sanctifying love in that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6). Because God’s love is holy, it will never disappoint or fail us. Our end is as secure as our beginning was because Holy Sovereign God is in control of all the things we are not.

God’s holiness and love comforts, affirms, and encourages us, especially when we are broken hearted and in the darkest times of life. I encourage you to worship your God for His holiness seen so amazingly through His love.  

God’s steadfast love endures forever

Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, his greatness is unsearchable (Psalm 145:3). While mortal man may not be able to comprehend the vast extent of God’s nature, we are able to comprehend that which has been revealed to us (1Co 2:10). In Psalm 40:5, David confesses his inability to tell everything about this incomparable God; O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told

God’s steadfast love endures foreverThroughout Psalm 136, the Psalmist catalogues God’s great love. Twenty-six times, the reader is reminded that the Lord, “his steadfast love endures forever.” Readers cannot help but have their thinking reinforced by this dependable part of God’s nature. As with any discussion on the nature of God, His love is not only inexhaustible but consistently manifests His holy compassion for His children.

As believers, we were physically born, then spiritually reborn (1Pe 1:3), for the purpose of worship (Eph 1:5-6). It is we who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 3:3). Therefore, our first response to information about God is to give thanks to the Lord (Psa 136:1-3) for He stands above all as God of gods and Lord of lords. Even though the Psalms expose us to the rainbow of God’s majestic greatness, they barely touch the infinite expanse of His wonderous character. A beautify part of God’s nature is that “his steadfast love endures forever” despite our many failings and unworthy natures.

The Lord’s love is dramatically different to mankind’s idea of love. Human love which we often see fleshed out in society and relationships is conditional, temporary, and unholy. Many of us can testify to the contaminated expressions of so-called human love which we have endured. But not so with God!

To begin with, God loves simply because God is love (1 John 4:8). Love is not just an emotion that comes and goes with Him as He feels like it. God’s love does not change or fluctuate as it is not impacted by circumstances or events. God’s love is a holy, sinless love – pure and faultless. His love is powerful because God all powerful. We should be very glad of this, because His love can not be damaged or reversed. As the supreme authority, God’s love is sovereign and therefore unchallenged. Therefore, Paul could say, I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

God’s love is intertwined with every other divine attribute that He contains within His eternal essence. It is therefore unmistakable that God is gracious and merciful in His love to we sinners. Martin Luther said, “God does not love us because we are valuable, but we are valuable because God loves us.” While we are not able to enrich God’s character, His love transforms, enriches, and sanctifies our characters as we live out the faith that He graciously gifted us with (Eph 2:8-9).

May we never think selfishly about God’s love, but always respond to His love in humble worship as we proclaim that “his steadfast love endures forever.”