Thursday, March 21, 2013

So what's the big deal about love? Part 1

Sometimes it is amazing to see how the Lord uses many people to help teach us lessons.  In the past week I have had two separate conversations with people about love, and then I heard a message on the topic.  It is the topic that I have been pondering for a while.  So what is the big deal about love?

So often as Christians we focus on God's justice, holiness, and righteousness.  We acknowledge that God is love, but it is never the focus.  We consider it good enough for the kids in preschool (one of the first verses they learn is "God is love"),  but that basically as far as it goes.  We mention it when we talk about Christ's birth and death, and we gloss it over when we talk about how we should live our Christian life.  Focusing on God's love doesn't mean that we ignore justice, holiness and righteousness or any other attribute of God it just means we are taking some time to mediate on the concept.

So where to we see God's love?   It starts on Genesis with Adam and Eve.  God could have allowed Adam and Eve to die immediately because his justice, holiness, and righteousness required it.  His love not only gave them a lighter judgement, but gave them the promise of a Messiah.

Think of Cain.  He murdered his brother, he deserved whatever punishment God gave him.  God's justice, holiness and righteousness required punishment, but His love meant he listened to Cain's complaint of the punishment being too hard and extended mercy to him.

Even Noah.  God's justice, holiness and righteousness required that the whole world should be destroyed, but his love saved Noah and his family.  His love extended the promise that He would never destroy the earth again with a flood. 

With Moses.  God's justice, holiness and righteousness required that Moses do what God commanded him.  His love gave Moses someone to help, Aaron.

With the children of Israel.  How many times do we find that God's justice, holiness and righteousness required the death of the people?  But how many times do we find His love preventing their destruction? In the wilderness with fiery serpents, we find his justice sending the snakes, but his love providing salvation from the death the serpents brought.

With David.  David sinned in numbering the people.  God's justice gave a consequence, his love stopped the consequence.  

With the city of Nineveh.  God's justice and righteousness demanded that the city be destroyed.  His love and mercy sent Jonah with a call to repentance.

With the woman caught in adultery.  She deserved death that was what the law required, it was what God's justice and holiness required.  Christ offered her only love and forgiveness.

With the disciples.  It was love that Christ offered them in the face of their betrayal and abandonment. 

With the children.  While the disciples offered the children only distain, Christ offered them love calling the little children to him, and chiding those that would prevent them.

With the Jews that rejected him.  His justice brought condemnation and a prophecy of destruction.  His love led to Christ weeping as he looked at the city.

With the human race.  God's justice, holiness, and righteousness required that the price must be paid for sin.  His love offered his only son to pay that price.

A focus on His love does not deny or minimize any of His other character traits.   If we study with out pre-conceived notions of what we think the Bible says, we might find something that we missed.

There is a lot more to ponder on this topic, hence the part 1.  More will be coming soon.

Part 2


  1. God's 'lighter' punishment of Adam's sin brought death to all of Adam's descendents. God's love provided His Only Son as a sacrifice for Adam's sin. God's love never lets the sinner off the 'hook'. Christ took all of the judgement and God's holy demand for judgement on Himself. Consider His words on the cross, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" Try to wrap your mind around an eternal God experiencing the eternal seperation from the Father - the price of the sin that Jesus willing took upon Himself.

  2. That is the whole point of this point out the great love that God has bestowed on us the sinners deserving of that eternal death.

    I did a study on Adam and of my very first posts.