Original Image by: BBaltimore
“Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:17-19 NLT)
If God still loves me in my imperfections then I have to love myself. I needn’t despair because with Him I have hope and assurance that I will be perfected. No one is perfect – for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This is why it’s a blessing to be able to put our sins under the blood of Jesus Christ. He is merciful and just to forgive us our sins and He is oh so long-suffering. He has held his hands out to Israel ‘all day long’ (and to him a day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day) and still awaits their return to Him. God is merciful and patient. He knows we’re weak; he knows and understands which is why he has offered us the ability to repent and to ask forgiveness. The scripture says he is our Advocate with the Father, our High Priest (one who is touched by the infirmities of His people).
We would have no need for his advocacy if he’d expected us to become perfect overnight! What a deep and wide ocean is God’s love.
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 Love of God | song lyrics by Frederick M. Lehman
There were two friends who came to see the ocean for the first time in their lives. They stood on the shore looking out over the ocean in awe; one proclaimed to the other, “Wow! Just look at all of that water!” His friend replied, “And just think, we can only see the top!”
Do you know some of us have settled for enjoying the surface of God’s love, never seeking to explore its depths, never treading farther than the edge of the great sea that is His love? God’s love is so immense that it covers a lifetime of sin! His love is greater than my weakness and your weakness; greater than my sins and your sins; greater than my faithlessness, my doubt, my fear and all of my inadequacies. To abide in God is to abide in His love.
“And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13) Why is love the greatest? Because it is the love of God that makes the others possible. Is there faith without love? Is there any hope outside the perimeters of love?
Beloved it is only in God that we can “experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever should believe on him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Is there any gift, any expression of love that overshadow God’s greater gift to us? The Apostle Paul wrote, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.” (Romans 5:7) But God sacrificed his perfect son for a morally bankrupt, ungrateful, ungodly and stiff-necked world of sinners. Further he promised, with an oath, eternal life for all those who would believe on his Son. Eternal life is much better than a diamond ring or a fine house isn’t it? The love of Christ is much more forgiving more long-suffering more willing to sacrifice than the love of any human being for another.
My mother loves me dearly, this I do know and she has and will sacrifice so very much for me and my sibling. She would I believe even die for me BUT she cannot give me eternal life. She prayed for me but it wasn’t my mother who saved my soul; she sat with me when I was ill but she could not heal me; she worried about my wellbeing but she can’t protect me from dangers seen and unseen. My mother can’t regulate my mind, heal my body, deliver my soul, forgive my sins or ensure my entry into Heaven. My mother is just like me and every other living being on this earth: she is human; she is limited and she too will have to stand before God on the Day of Judgment to give an account for her soul.
So while I may honor my mother on Mother’s Day and give her thanks for all she’s done for me; I know that even her love pales in comparison to the love of Jesus Christ.
My brother, my sister Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He came that we might have life and that more abundantly. Just think, Jesus said we didn’t choose Him – He chose us! Imagine Christ looking down through the ages of time and with a gleam of pride and love He proclaimed me as His chosen! Do you know that He did the same for you?
John 10:18 is proof that Calvary was intended from the beginning. Jesus was the Son of God in the flesh but He was God in the Spirit. In Jesus Christ resides the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Thus, he could have stopped the progression to Calvary at any time BUT His love for us (you and for me!) was so great that He said not a word…
John 1:14 says that He came and tabernacled among us – God resided in a tent made of flesh! He gave himself because there was nothing and no one greater to give.
The love of God, love that is God, extends beyond the boundaries of the church house walls and those who are familiar. It branches out to the street-walkers, strangers, neighbors and to the nether most reaches of the world. God’s love has no boundaries and knows no stranger. It is the power of His love that enabled Him to die for the entire world. What awesome power is God’s love!
Praise the Living God! He’s given the same power to us! It’s true. Romans 5:5 declares that “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Have you received his Spirit my friend? Without the Holy Spirit it is impossible to love as He would have us to love; for it is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to love as He loved. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
The distinguishing mark that sets us apart from all others is not clothes, hair or ornamentation; it’s not denomination, skin color or class; it’s not human knowledge, wealth or pedigree: the distinguishing mark is L.O.V.E.
How we love one another and how we display God’s love to the world – that’s what sets us apart!
So great a love must be shared amongst believers and spread out to the world just as the Holy Spirit spreads God’s love through our hearts. We are the light of the world and it is only through His chosen that men will know the love of God. I love you my brother. I love you my sister. Sight unseen, name unknown – but as much as I love you be assured God loves you so much more!
We can only see a little of the ocean,
A few miles distance from the sandy shore,
But out there – beyond
Beyond our eyes’ horizon,
There’s more – there’s more.
- “There’s More” | by Paschal Bernard Baute
Dive deep into the sea of God’s love beloved, go farther than the shore of his mercy: Step out beyond the eyes’ horizon dear ones, “There’s more, there’s more.”