January 23

The Love of God

Bible Reading: Isaiah 49:15-16; John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:3-6

It is a tremendous challenge to write a devotional about this glorious theme, kind of like dipping a thimble full of truth out of an ocean full of love (Ephesians 3:19)!

God’s love has been revealed to us in the Bible as existing within the Godhead (John 14:31, 17:23) and in His providential care for all (Matthew 5:43-45), but it is at the cross where the depth of God’s love can be best understood (John 3:16; 1 John 3:16).

If the Bible is God’s love letter to us, then Jesus is the One who has come to reveal that truth and the Cross is proof of it.  From eternity God planned to send His Son to rescue lost sinners. The Son left the perfection of heaven and the adoration of worshiping angels to come to this broken and sin-needy place.  He came in humility, born in a stable, laid in a feeding trough, growing up without wealth or even a place to lay His head.  

As He spoke truth, He served relentlessly and loved without limit; healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, cleansing the lepers, feeding the multitudes, raising the dead, and doing other miracles which all testified to the truth of His Divinity.  He was devoid of sin and lived a life of perfect obedience to the Father.  Despite all this, enemies coalesced and conspired against Him, plotting His demise.  They even enlisted one of His own to betray Him.  They had Him arrested.  Though He could have called on ten thousand angels to rescue Him, He did not, for He had been born into this world to take our punishment on the Cross for sins not His own.  He willingly subjected Himself to it all–the betrayal and arrest, the abandonment of His friends, the false accusations, the beatings, those laborious steps to the cross, the crucifixion.  

He is the creator of all. In a macabre scene which defies comprehension, the created mocked their Creator. The religious leaders, the soldiers, the two thieves who hung alongside him, and the people gathered there, joined in a cruel cacophony of insults against the One who had given them both life and breath…the One who had come to their rescue.

And there He is, dying on that Cross. A Cross which points to heaven from whence He came. And down to the depths, to the devil, whom He was soon to triumph over. It points both to the east and west, to the far reaches of the globe, to where the message of His gospel would ultimately reach, people from every tribe and language and people and nation.

He who knew no sin was made to be sin when He bore our sins and He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me” (Matthew 27:46).  Who can measure the degree of agony He experienced as His soul was crushed under the weight of humanity’s sin!  There He hangs, bruised and naked, bearing both physical wounds and a broken heart.  

The precious Lamb of God has taken on Himself the sin of the world. He’s utterly alone, an outcast from both the humanity He’s come to rescue and the perfect and intimate love of the Father, which He treasured above all else.  What kind of love is this–that God would predetermine to do such a thing and that Jesus would willingly subject Himself to it?  

What kind of love is this–that someone would suffer and die, not for friends, but for all people, even those who hated Him?  What kind of love is this–that would reach so far and endure so much?  He didn’t stay dead, No one took His life from Him, He had authority to lay it down and authority to take it back up again.  He rose again and later ascended to the right hand of the Father.  And from there He invites sinners to come to receive by faith the salvation He availed and freely offers to all. 

“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).  The proof of God’s amazing love has been unveiled to us on the Cross. Are you doubting God’s love–look there!  An incredible cost, the precious blood of Jesus, was paid for your salvation!  “Amazing love, how can it be, that Thou My God, shouldst die for me!”

Heaven Father. How amazing it is that You would love us like that! That you would endeavor to make such a sacrifice, though there be nothing in us to deserve or merit such love. That though we be your enemies, you would be willing to bear our sins. How wonderful it is to be loved by You with a love that knows no limits and cannot fail. Thank you for loving me! Amen.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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