Oh, The Love of God!
My Dear Partners in Christ:
In the midst of February is Valentines Day and provides always an excuse to express one’s thoughts on love. But who needs an excuse? Of course, the word ‘love’ in our present culture has become overused, often misapplied, misused, or misappropriated. Yet, to us as Christians the word love has a rich and deep meaning. It is the central theme, the very core of our faith; that is the love, the amazing grace of the, “God that so loved the world….”
It is the reality, the fact of God’s’ love, that is so vividly revealed in the sacrifice of The Son on Calvary. It marks our faith as utterly unique and special. We can see the power of this image of God’s love as the world’s other religions now have attempted to copy it to some degree. Yet when you lack the reality, these attempts are so painfully inadequate, anemic and pale in comparison to what our scriptures relates in some of the most memorable passages in all of literature; the Lord is my shepherd, seeking the one lost lamb, the father longing for his son “who was once dead,” Paul’s soaring prose to the Corinthians, and John’s definitive words, “God is love.” The Biblical portrayal is a divine revelation of a God who care, loves, and yes, would do anything for us, if we will but allow Him to.
In His love God has chosen not to interfere with our human freewill. Deciding that we should have the freedom of choice and action, with the inevitability that mankind would reject His love, and bring sin and evil into His good creation. He did this rather than create beings that could only do as He wished. For when you can only do as you are programmed, what you do is without meaning. There can be no acts of valor, no acts of love to counter hate, or grace to heal wounds. And there can be no growing in maturity, no overcoming, and thus no victories.
His creation is then free, and it is here God would have us “work out our salvation.” He would have us feely desire to dwell with Him, and to serve His greater purpose. And we should know His love will result in multitudes beyond counting that will dwell ultimately in His glory and that love in a way, which is beyond our wildest dreams. I feel that we often don’t fully appreciate just what we are being offered. We actually believe that this world, our existence as we now experience it is the true reality. It is not!
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9). Paul makes this remarkable statement interpreting fully the poetry of Isaiah. And this revelation has far more meaning today than it ever had in the first century. It also points out our backward thinking. Most really believe that this earth is the ultimate reality, and heaven is more ethereal, more like some shadowy existence. But scripture, and a growing mountain of human experiences concerning what awaits us reveals that earth is the copy, the shadow, and God’s realm is the reality.
Moses upon the mountain was told to build the Tabernacle, carefully upon the model he was shown. It was a type, the shadow of the true dwelling place of God. The Holy of Holies of Solomon’s Temple was as well a type or shadow of a greater reality. Such types were to awaken to the worshippers of God, what is the true and greater reality. And indeed all of creation, what is signified by those six days of creation, actually seven, for that seventh day is saying a great deal more the most realize. That all of the creation we see and experience is but a shadow, a type, of God true reality He would welcome us to share. That all the beauty and wonder about us now only pales before, “What God has prepared for those who love Him.” We cannot imagine, not the colors, the sounds, the wonder, or the full power of His love, and this is why we must continue to proclaim that love, so that one more, two more, or a hundred more or thousands will embrace that incredible love of our God.
“It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,
Thomas R. Wyatt