“Wow! That was awesome!”
My 11-year-old grandboy had just zip lined across the Royal Gorge in Colorado—the highest zip line in the U.S. His eyes were wide, his mouth open wider.
When was the last time you said, “Wow! That was awesome!”? At a theme park ride? An amazing scene in an action movie? At a spectacular fireworks display?
Do we say Wow! often? Are we so used to sensational special effects that we’ve lost the wonder of the truly magnificent?
GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU
I believe the most astounding, remarkable, wondrous reality we too easily take for granted is the love of God for us.
During the flooding following 40+ inches of rain during Hurricane Harvey, a young mother was pulled from a flood channel, grasping her young child to her chest, as she was swept through the waters on her back. The mother died, the child lived. Truly sacrificial love.
A young man threw himself on top of his girlfriend during the Las Vegas massacre, giving his life to save her.
Who has loved you in such a sacrificial way? Perhaps a parent or a spouse or a military buddy. A few, but very few.
No one has ever loved you as much as God does.
Romans 5:6-8: “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
The whole Bible is the story of God’s love for us—of His relentless pursuit of relationship with us: He became like us. He died for us. He keeps loving even when we blow it: Just ask King David and Apostle Peter.
God wants a deep love relationship with each of us, with you, with me. More than husband/wife romance. More than parent/child relationship. More than BFF friendship. I never get over that He loves me that much.
How does that happen? How do we experience that kind of love?
Time. With. He loves you and is eager to be with you. The more you are with him, the more you will fall in love with him.
Here’s what He says when I linger with Him: I love you. You are my friend. I have adopted you as my very own child. I have plans for you. I will always be with you.
Do you get it? GOD is crazy in love with you and desires to be with you and talk with you and show that love to you—more than any human relationship.
GOD’S LOVE THROUGH YOU
It’s greater than wow! It’s better than awesome!
God desires for you to be a channel to flow His love to people in your life.
Think about people in your life: family, church, neighbors, work, school, strangers. God loves them too. How will they know that? How will they comprehend the depth of God’s love for them?
God says your primary assignment is to love them. Seriously? Yes.
Matthew 22: 37-39: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. This is the first and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, ‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’”
Love God with your whole being. Love others as yourself! Yet there’s more. John 13:34-35: ”But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you.”
You are a conduit, a vessel for God’s love to flow. Because He has loved us, we are now His means to let His love splash all over everyone.
What does it look like to love as Jesus loved?
1 Corinthians 13 gives us a picture:
What love doesn’t do: envy, boast, be proud, dishonor, be self-seeking, easily angered, keep a record of wrongs, delight in evil.
What love is/does: patient, kind, honest, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.
Love never fails.
Colossians 3:12-14 expands further:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another ….as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Bill Bright, my boss, leader, mentor, discovered this type of love in a difficult situation:
Many years ago some staff decided they, rather than Dr. Bright, should lead the ministry. They demanded he step aside. He asked them to come back the next day, after he talked with God.
God assured him that he should remain as the leader, and that these men were wrong. But God reminded Bill that He loved him, and He also loved those men. He then said that He wanted to love them through Bill.
Dr. Bright told them he would not step aside, but then added, “I love you. I forgive you. And I am praying for you.”
Stop. Think. The God of the universe loves you more than you can comprehend. That love dwells in you via the Holy Spirit. Your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to let the Holy Spirit in you overflow you and enable you to splash God’s love on every person you encounter.
NEVER GET OVER IT!
God loves you and will love others through you!
What about you? Is there someone for whom you could be God’s channel of love?
C2017 Judy Douglass
Watch a video about Dr. Bright learning to love by faith.