Saturday, March 12, 2016

My thoughts on the Love of God

Because He Loves Us
A devotional written by Alexis A. Goring, founder of "God is Love" blog

“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.” ~John 3:16 (NIV)

When my Mom is sick, I still reach out to hug her because she is my Mom and I love her no matter what. So at the risk of me becoming sick by being near her, I still risk it because I know that giving a hug makes sick people feel better. My willingness to risk getting sick so that I can help my Mom, makes me think about something greater: the Love of God and the sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ who drew near to humanity when we were at our worst because He loves us. 

Jesus Christ came to Earth to reach out to the sick and hurting people in a world ridden with the negative effects of sin. He gave hope to a hurting world by reaching out and restoring people. Jesus Christ's ministry on Earth gave us hope. At the risk of being separated from His Father, Jesus risked it all to be near us, to hold us, to console us and most importantly, to restore us through His gift of salvation. Christ's love for us cost Him His life. But He defeated death and the grave when He rose again! Now, He is the Divine Mediator between God and humankind (1 Timothy 2:5).

The Bible says that we have a High Priest (Jesus Christ) who is familiar with our suffering and our pain (Hebrews 4:15). He knows the human plight so well because He lived here on this planet and endured every trial and tribulation we may ever face. Yet, He did not sin and He was victorious! Christ drew near to us and was not afraid to take on the sins of the world so that we may be free from the wages of sin, eternal death (Romans 6:23)! Why did He do this? Because He loves us!

So if you’re going through something that you do not understand or dealing with pain that makes you feel isolated and alone, guess what? You are NEVER alone because JESUS understands. He feels your pain. When you’re hurt, He’s hurt. When you cry, He cries. When you need a hug, He is there to envelop you with His love.

The Bible says that Christ is near to the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). We serve a High Priest who is able to empathize with our every pain, no matter how BIG or small (Hebrews 4:15). How is He (Jesus Christ) able to relate to us and understand everything we’re going through? Well my dear, it is because He’s been where you are, quite literally. Jesus walked in humanity’s shoes for 33 years of His life here on Earth. He carried our pain to the Cross on a hill in Jerusalem that Christians today refer to as Mount Calvary. It was there that he paid our penalty for our sin when He allowed the Roman soldiers to nail him to the cross. Now I do say "allowed" because Christ is God's Son. He could have easily defeated the soldiers and taken himself off that Cross and never died. So what kept him on the Cross? He did it because He loves us

The Bible says that He who had no sin, became sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus took our place on the cross. He paid the penalty for our sins (death). But in the process, He broke Satan’s hold on death. No longer would our death be eternal. No longer would God be out of reach for us. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, if we accept His gift of salvation then when we die, we have the promise of eternal life that we will receive when Jesus returns to Earth to take His faithful followers home to Heaven where there will be no more pain or sorrow. In Heaven, we will experience the abundant, painless life that God planned for humankind before sin entered our story.

God restores: Christ’s death on the cross reconciles us to God. Jesus serves as the bridge between mankind and God’s Throne. Because of Christ’s death on the Cross, we mere mortals can now approach God’s throne through prayer boldly and find help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, when we sin, Christ reminds God that He paid the penalty and God covers our sin with the blood of Jesus Christ. Then, He casts our sin into the depths of the ocean (Micah 7:19) and remembers it no more (Isaiah 43:25). 
Because of Christ, we can have a new start after we ask God to forgive us for our sins. 

The Bible says that God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). Every day is a clean slate when you’re confessing your sins to God and living for Him. Now, this is not an excuse to keep a cycle of sinning then asking for forgiveness and taking it for granted that you can start new tomorrow because the Bible says that there will be a time where God says “enough” (Revelation 22:10-12) and tells His Son (Jesus Christ) to go to Earth and get His children, taking His faithful followers home to heaven. At that time, if you’re still in your sin, you’ll miss out on eternal life. So please do not wait until it’s too late. Accept Jesus Christ today. Ask Him into your heart. Plead for forgiveness of your sins. Find a good, Holy Bible-believing church and fellowship with other believers in God. Surrounding yourself with other Christians is important and so is telling the world about the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

When you are in love with God and appreciate all His Son has done for you, it’s hard to NOT share your love for Him with the entire world. I know that when Jesus came into my life and His glory changed everything in my life story for the better, it was hard to keep it to myself. It’s when my writing ministry was born. I started writing devotionals like this one and embarked on a journey of sharing His love with the world through message boards, blogs and social media. It’s such good news! Try inviting Jesus into your heart and you’ll see why you cannot keep your love for Him to yourself. He is AMAZING and His love for us is out of this world! And our true home, Heaven, is more beautiful and blessed than any place on planet Earth (1 Corinthians 2:9). Did you know that we won’t need light when we get to Heaven because the glory of God will light all of heaven? Read Revelation 21:23 for proof. I am SO looking forward to going home. Aren’t you?

But back to the main message of this devotional: Christ loves you. He fights for you. He’s passionate about saving your soul and taking you home to heaven to live eternally. The Bible says that He’s come to give us life and give it more abundantly (John 10:10).

Aren’t you glad that we serve a risen Savior who is in our world today? Aren’t you glad that He draws near to you at your worst and loves you no matter what? Aren’t you glad that He paid the price for our sins (The Bible says that the wages of sin is death) and made it possible for us to be reconciled to God (who hates sin) and live eternally?

I know I am (so glad). If you don’t know Jesus, I encourage you to get to know Him today. Read His Word (The Holy Bible). Draw close to Him and never let Him go.

In closing, I'd like for you to listen to this song, "How He Loves Us". It's performed by Kim Walker-Smith and Jesus Culture (musicians). Enjoy! 

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