God’s love is a popular topic these days. Especially when we are seeing as many painful events in the news, however, God’s love is completely different than our love. We typically love out of guilt, obligation, or what we get in return, but Scripture teaches us God’s love is completely different.
It is sacrificial because He lays aside His deity to take on human flesh and when He dies on the cross it isn’t for His sin, but our sin. He is pierced, beaten, and mocked for our sin and in that moment He becomes sin. The Father turns from the Son, and Jesus cries out, “Why have you forsaken me?”
It is a love that is sufficient. It isn’t just an act of kindness but through it is a love that brings peace between us and God. It is because of His love that we experience forgiveness, clear conscience, hope for the future, power to love others, and it is sufficient.
It is also a love that is a delight. He wasn’t forced, but willingly laid down His life and endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He endured the cross to bring greater glory to the name of His heavenly Father. It is sacrificial, sufficient, and when we experience His love through faith in Jesus’ work on the cross it moves us to love other people with the same type of love.
Expressing God’s Love to Others:
We know when we are expressing God’s love to others when it looks like God’s love. A love that is sacrificial means that we are going to have to give up something so that we can love other people. It means we may not always have an emotional feeling of love. It means it will be inconvenient. Having someone live with you is inconvenient. Giving away money is inconvenient. Adopting children is inconvenient. It means we don’t hear about needs in the world and look at our left-overs to meet those needs but it is a sacrificial love. It means you get rid of something that you would other wise would enjoy.
It is sufficient means that it is helpful, it is tangible, and it is beneficial. There is a book called the Five Love Languages and it describes how people receive love. Some receive love through gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, serving, touch and it means when we love other people it is a tangible and practical way. My wife loves gifts because it means I was thinking about her throughout the day so when I bring her something it makes her feel loved. It can be some earrings or a sonic drink, but it is a tangible expression. Kennedy could care less about hugs or time, but she lights up when with words of affirmation. Sometimes before she goes to bed at night I just speak words of encouragement into her heart and she just hugs me really tight. Tucker loves hugs, cuddle, wrestle and physical touch. Sometimes I work from home and last week I was reading over 1 John praying about what to speak on and Tucker walks in and says, “Daddy lets wrestle!” I say, “I can’t right now I am reading.” He asks, “What are you reading?” I said, “I am reading about loving other people.” He said, “Well, then lets wrestle!” When we love people in a sufficient way it means people may not say thank you or show appreciation, but there is a tangible expression of our love.
The last one is that our love is a delight. It is a delight. It means people might not say thank you or show appreciation. It means we don’t grumble and complain our way through it. I do this sometimes when I go see Holly’s extended family and I will be grumpy the whole time. Holly will ask, “If you are going to be grumpy then why are you going.” I say, “Because I love you.” Holly says, “I would rather you love me in a different way.” It means when there is a lack of delight in our heart we need to examine our heart and our motives. It means there might be something else going on in our heart that is robbing us from having a delight and we would do well to not over look the condition of our heart. When our love is a delight it means in the end we are thankful we were able to be a part of God’s love being expressed to other people.