Pastor Ron E. Thompson: God’s Love in Three Dimensions
Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above Would drain the ocean dry,
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.
The final stanza of this song by F. M. Lehman, “The Love of God,” was found penciled on the wall of a narrow room in a mental institution by a man said to have been insane. These profound lines were discovered after his death. One of the most beautiful, mysterious, and incomprehensible subjects in the Bible is the love of God. There are scores of Scripture texts that demonstrate that our God is a God of love. Let me give you I John 4:7-10 in the street language of The Message: “ My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.
The person who refuses to love does not know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you cannot know him if you do not love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they have done to our relationship with God.”
I note three great truths about God’s love toward us about which we can be confident:
1. God’s love never lets us down. We tend to think about God of the Old Testament as a God of wrath. However, Isaiah 63:9 says Israel’s afflictions in Egypt also afflicted God, and in His love and pity He redeemed them. He provided salvation for them, picked them up and carried them along. Romans 5:8 reminds us that God demonstrated His love for us as sinners by giving Christ to die for us, and in His grace and compassion saved us (Ephesians 2:4-5). Beloved, this is the message of John 3:16. Skeptics have problems with passages such as Romans 9:13 which declares that God hated Esau. The bigger problem is how God could have loved conniving
Jacob! God’s grace is simply His love to sinners who deserve nothing. And He is a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1-7).
2. God’s love never lets us go. God’s love will not let Him forget His own children any more than a mother can forget her own child, although some have. If God’s love gave us Heaven’s best, and if that same love never fails us during the deep moments of life, that means His love will outlast our changeability. Romans 8:35-39 shows how nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. He is competent to guard our deposit of faith in the bank of God’s grace (II Timothy 1:12). No one can snatch us from the Father’s hand (John 10:28).
George Matheson penned these timely lyrics to the hymn: “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go:”
O love that will not let me go; I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe, That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
3. God’s love never lets us off. “The Lord disciplines everyone he loves. He severely disciplines everyone he accepts as his child” (Hebrews 12:6 GW). We never get off lightly with God. No sin is overlooked. He loves us too much to let us get by. Some parents say they love their children too much to discipline them. No, you do not love them at all with an attitude like that. You just love yourself too much to take the time and effort. God is not like that. Eventually our children get too old to discipline and all we can do is pray for them and advise them. But we never get too old for God to whip us when He must. Can I hear an Amen?
God loves us so much He will save us and never leave nor forsake us. His love will not let us down. He loves us so much He will not let us slip through His fingers because we are a very part of Him. He will never let us go. And He loves us so much He will not allow us to have our own way without suffering for it. I trust you, our readers, know the love of God in the forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ, His Son.