The Love of God
I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity of having my father as a great ministry mentor. He has served the local church for thirty-five plus years, most of which was in music ministry. I am thankful that I can call him at any moment and have the ear of someone who has “been there and done that.” He is a great father, a great friend, and a great mentor.
One phrase that my father says when wrapping up choir or band practice that has stuck with me through my ministry was, “love you and mean it.” This is a simple phrase and there is nothing new or profound about it; however, by just adding two little words to a phrase we all use every day, “mean it,” deepens it.
Loving people is messy. Loving people takes work. Saying “I love you” is easy, meaning it is hard. It isn’t necessarily in our nature to give ourselves away, to sacrifice, or to put
others before ourselves. It is much easier for us to say “I love you” than it is to live it out in a tangible way.
Blackaby writes this in “Experiencing God”
Love assumes the best about others. If someone inadvertently offends you, you choose to believe the offense was unintentional. If someone seeks to harm you, you “bear all things,” forgiving unconditionally. If a positive light can be shed on a difficult encounter, you grasp it. If someone continually provokes you, you “endure all things.” You never lose hope in the ones you love. You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you. God loves us and He means it!
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
God, due to His abundant love for us, sent His son to earth to take on the punishment we deserved. If that isn’t “meaning it,” I don’t know what is! God forgives “unconditionally” when we surrender to Jesus' authority. God is immensely patient with us and “endures” when we fail Him. God is our hope in our greatest times of need, our hope every day. It is through God’s love that we find life!
So, as children of God, what are we to do? How can we not only tell God and tell people that we love them but also mean it? We endlessly strive to love people like Christ first loved us! We sacrifice for others, for the glory of God. “You practice the same unconditional love toward others that Christ gives to you.”
Mark 12:30-31 - 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Lyric of the Month
For God so loved the world that He gave us
His one and only Son to save us
Whoever believes in Him will live forever
7 Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.