“The great Swiss theologian, Dr. Karl Barth, was probably, in his generation, the greatest theologian in the world, as well as a great philosopher as well. I did not always agree with him, but he was my friend; and I respected him. While he was in this country, a student at one of the seminaries said, “Dr. Barth, what is the greatest truth that ever crossed your mind?” All the seminary students were sitting on the edge of their seats to hear some great, profound, deep, complicated answer. Dr. Barth slowly raised his great shaggy gray head and looked at the student and said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Meditating on the Spirit of God this morning, I have felt such a strong sense of this pure message in desperate need for many to read and know. Though in much respects many perceive this to be “simple” in nature, yet it is so profound that most of us don’t truly know, understand, or actually believe this to be true:
“GOD LOVES YOU!”
(Yep, simple right? …Well, not really.)
He really does love us, however, the Bible tells us this:
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8 (KJV)
This actually complicates our current societal understanding of love because …we absolutely didn’t deserve it. I feel that coming from a strong foundation of Biblical balance seeing this theological truth through the lenses of my insufficiency and desperate need for Him to transform me, as opposed to an unfortunate, more popular-modern, unsaid, mental perception that basically God is right to love us (as though somehow we have attained to anything deserving, pure and/or good without Him), that this Biblical reality easily escapes me because I understand my depravity apart from God. It’s easy to share affection with those who do things we like, but not so easy to express affection with those who betray us. Well, that’s exactly what Jesus did, and we ought to be forever thankful! The truth in God’s love is not only expressed by His sacrificial payment for our sins, but also to purposefully bring us to CHANGE!
“…knowing that the goodness (or love) of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (KJV)
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 (KJV)
We can have all the knowledge of scripture, but if we don’t have love, we have nothing. “Love” is the life’s source of any true Christian in both acceptance of God’s love toward us (which conforms us to His image), as well as expressing His love to all of those around us! (Read all of 1 Corinthians 13)
In conclusion, know that no matter what you’ve failed God in, how often it has happened, God STILL LOVES YOU, and is calling you to come away with Him to be transformed into a NEW creation! Repentance, forgiveness, and restoration is available to all who would receive it by faith and turning away from your sins!
“Hereby perceive we the love of God , because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:16-18 (KJV)
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein 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 ought also to love one another.” 1 John 4:7-11 (KJV)
Today, surrender to true love: God. Then, God in us, will be our natural resource for expressing love to others, even when we may feel like don’t deserve it because truth is, we didn’t deserve His love, but He gave it to us anyway. Thank you Jesus!
“Lord Jesus, I surrender to YOUR love! Forgive me of where I have fallen short, and help me to live the life of holiness you have called me to live. Make me pleasing in your sight in both word and deed. Help me to love you and others the way you love them, as well as you loving me! In Jesus name, Amen!”