The Love of God

In the letter to the Romans, after he had documented his own struggle with sin, Paul proclaimed, “O wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?”  In the 38th Psalm David wrote, “For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me.”  In the 40th Psalm, “For innumerable evils have surrounded me; My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me.” Peter told Christ in Luke 5:8, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

Paul, David and Peter- These are all men that could be described as men of faith.  They were men who followed the Lord, who did His works, who kept the faith and all three lamented of their sin.  Paul called himself a wretched man.  David proclaimed that his iniquities numbered beyond the number of hairs on his head.   Peter described himself as a sinful man.

These three men and all of mankind share in commonality the guilt of sin.  Romans 3:10-12 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God.   They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”  Every one of us could take the words of Paul or David or Peter and rightfully claim them as our own.

God created a perfect world.  He placed man in a garden where he would not know pain, he would not know sorrow and he would not know death.  Man in turn disobeyed the only commandment God had given him.  Since the first sin committed in the Garden God has continued to show man His love and man has repaid Him with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness, hate, violence, pride,  and disobedience.  We are told in Romans 1:29-32 that these actions are deserving of death.  We have all taken part in this.  On our own we stand before God guilty, covered in sin.  “There is none righteous, no not one.”

Yet for some reason God still loves us and He places great value in us.  In Romans 5:6-8- “For when we were without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Despite our sin, despite our ungodliness, God sacrificed His son on our behalf.  It is nothing that you or I have done that made us worthy in God’s eyes of that sacrifice- it is purely because He loves us.

This message is found throughout the Bible.  The Bible is centered around God’s plan for our salvation- our reunion with Him.  From the moment Adam and Eve sinned He had events placed in order so that one day we could be with Him again.

Jesus often spoke of the value that God in places in us.  In His first recorded sermon, what is commonly titled the sermon on the mount, Jesus explained to the multitude in Matthew 6:25-34 that there was no reason to worry about food or clothing because God valued them.  He provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, He would certainly provide for them.  In Luke 15 Jesus preached three parables to a group of tax collectors and sinners: the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin and the parable of the prodigal son.  In each of these parables something of great value to the owner is lost and upon finding the lost item they rejoice.  Jesus shows through these parables that we are of great worth to God.  Just as the shepherd valued his one lost sheep, just as the woman valued her one lost coin and just as the man valued his son, God values us.

God’s love for us and the value that He places in us can also be seen in the spiritual blessings that He bestows upon us.  For example, God provides us with a peace that can only be found at the foot of the cross.  In John 14:27 Jesus spoke of the peace that God’s provides His saints: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  The peace that God has given us through His Son is not a life without conflict, it is not a life without pain or sorrows or troubles or persecution or violence.  It is a peace within us.  Paul, also talking of the peace God provides us, says in Philippians 4:6,7- “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.”  We can take our anxieties to God in prayer and with a thankful heart place them into His hands and He will give us peace.

Despite our many sins and shortcomings God loves us. It is evident in His word and in the spiritual blessings that bestows upon us.  This is a love that we are not worthy of and a love that we have not earned.  Yet, for some reason, God has chosen to value and love us so much that He sent His son to die for us.

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