1John 4: 10, “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the substitute for our sins.”
Some elementary school children were asked their opinion about love and this is how a couple of them responded.
Jill, age 6, said, “Love is foolish…but I might try it sometime.” Dave, age 8, said, “Love will find you even if you are trying to hide from it. I’ve been trying to hide from it since I was 5, but the girls keep finding me; and Regina, age 10, replied, “I’m not rushing into love…4th grade is hard enough.”
The truth is, we wouldn’t know what love is if it weren’t for God, because, as the Apostle John tells us in 1 John 4, “God is love.”
We say we love other people, but if we are honest, we mostly love ourselves, and are wildly inconsistent in showing love to others.
And because God is love, those unloving actions of ours should be proof enough that we are not born “good,” but rather that we are born in sin…enemies of God.
So how do we know that God is love? We know because, “While we were yet sinners (enemies of God), Christ died for us.”
Most of us have someone like a spouse or a child that we love and would die for…but what about an enemy? Would you take a bullet for someone who called you names, spit on you and then beat you up for no reason?
How about someone who was plotting and planning to kill you? Well, that is exactly what God sent His Son Jesus Christ to this earth to do. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the substitute for our sins.”
“When the time was just right,” God showed His love by intervening in human history. In self-sacrificing love, Jesus gave up His throne in Heaven and came to us.
He reached out in love to the sick, the helpless and the outcasts of society. In fact, He was so full of love that people simply couldn’t stand it, and so they conspired to kill Him.
He was beaten and ridiculed at the hands of the very people He came to save. And yet, He loved us so much that He did for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
He willingly died on the cross as our perfect substitute, so that all who confess their sins and believe in Him as their Saviour will be forgiven and receive eternal life.
That is love on a scale we just don’t understand. All we can do is receive God’s gift of love in Christ, and say, “Thank you!! I don’t understand why you would love me so much after all I’ve done, but thank you.”
And you don’t need to be a theologian to see God’s love; it’s in a children’s song. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong. Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me; yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so. Jesus loves me He who died, Heaven’s gates to open wide; He will take away my sin, let His little child come in. Yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the Bible tells me so”…amen.
Pastor Clint Magnus
Redeemer Lutheran Church