by Ian Harrison
Love is Amazing (part 4 and last part of series)
This is an investigation written in tears because the writer has been coming to an understanding of God's insurmountable love for him. Here we will look at his faithfulness to us in spite of what we do to him. We will see that though we reject him out of fear he is faithful and stands at the door of our hearts and knocks waiting to remove our pain. He invites us to answer as he wants to take us as we are and transform us with his love so we can pass it on.
This is a love that will not let us go and its qualities are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. ( "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails." )
It is not within the framework or boundaries of God's character to think of evil. What a relief for us all that all he wants for us is what is best for us. He even provides his mind to guide ours into the truth of his character as it is revealed to us on a moment by moment basis. This is done as we surrender our minds to his and give him permission to impress upon our minds the promptings of his thoughts.
We see God's heart for us revealed in Hosea 11:3,8,9. ( God said "I taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by their arms; But they did not know that I healed them. How can I give you up Ephraim? How can I hand you over Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I set you like Zeboiim? My heart churns within me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of my anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. FOR I AM GOD and not man, the Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror." ) Perhaps this is Jesus in his pre-incarnate state, with his character of love certainly revealed. He hates evil and yet he understands our frailty of being bound in sin which is outside us. He wants us free from this because he has good works set aside for each of us to accomplish. We are told this in Ephesians 2:10. ( "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." ) This is where our identity comes from. We see that in spite of our rejection of him at first, he faithfully waits for us to hear his call. He is there with his heart of compassion to accept us regardless of what we have done. He expects us to repent which means to change and move in the opposite direction. After admitting we were wrong and that we need him to restore us he is faithful to his promises and will renew us by giving us his spirit who will live within us to be our guide forever. 1 John 1:9. ( " If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ) Sin means to act on the worst things we could do against God, ourselves and others. Consider the abundant life you miss out on and even worse the eternal separation away from God you face. With the minor prophet of Hosea, God dedicates himself to Israel just like in a marriage relationship to prove the faithfulness of his character to the world. He says in Hosea 2:19,20 ("I will betroth you to me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness and justice, in loving kindness and mercy; I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you are going to know the Lord." ) To betroth means to promise to take in marriage, in this context it means a spiritual marriage. How will we know the Lord? By what he does, by the fruits manifested through his character as a result of his actions. This is the same pattern he reveals in all believers, it is by how we live our lives we are known to be different and examples of who God is to our neighbour, or everyone we see or serve. This is the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us.
This is why we can trust in the love of God so much. While we were rebellious, in order to win us back, and to satisfy his sense of justice that sin had been dealt with once and for all time, he chose to want to give up a part of himself to reconcile our relationship and restore harmony. In Revelation 3:20 we read ("Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with me." ) Jesus never stops making himself available. The door with a relationship with him is always open because he loves us and wants to love us, after all he did create us. God's unconditional love is such that he will not force his love onto us even as Christians. He stands at the door, knocks and offers. We read this in Romans 5:8 ( "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.")
This invitation is unconditional because Jesus would have died for you anyway in spite of your choice or regardless of who you choose to serve. In John we are told by Jesus ( "that whomsoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." ) God never created us to perish even though we rebelled. He pursues us for a relationship to the extent of handing over a part of himself to recover and restore us into the people he created us to be, like himself.
We are called to make a decision either for God's irresistible love or go against it and live with the consequences of being permanently bound by sin and eternally separated from God. We are all accountable and the choice will always be open to whoever wants it. With God there are no barriers with favouritism, prejudice, bias, race or gender. (Joshua 24:15. "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.") Let's pass on the benefits of his love.
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