Letter To Our Children
by Pastor Joe | August 16, 2023 | Letters To Our Children
I don't think I am too far off to suggest much of the people in this world, more often than not, feel unloved. If you feel sad about that, I do too.
John, the disciple of Jesus, twice wrote the statement, God is love (1 John 4:8,16); I think this is one of the Bible's most beautiful statements. For this, The New Testament presents God's love not as a privilege only for the highly favored few but as an ordinary part of the Christian life. Knowing God loves you is a very healthy way to think, live, and build your life on.
A Flood of Love
When Paul wrote, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us (Romans 5:5), he wasn’t saying our love for God, but our deep understanding of God’s love for us.
From Paul’s words, three things will be a gain if we understand them. First, the word shed literally means dumped (or poured) out. It is the same word used by Luke when he describes the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:17-18. Picture yourself standing under a free-flowing gushing waterfall. You will feel, no doubt, the water cascading over your entire body. In other words, God’s love is not faint and feeble but deep and overwhelming.
Secondly, the language of Paul is in the perfect tense. (Sorry about the English Grammar lesson, even though it is still summer.) This means God’s love fills the Christian now, as in right now.
Think of a vast lake (that’s you and I) and water filling it (God’s love) so the lake never runs dry, which is part of the service of the Holy Spirit to Christians. Therefore, God by His Spirit is committed to the Christian joy of having this solid, abiding, known, and felt sense of God’s love.
Third and finally, this is so wonderful and telling. It is the ordinary ministry of the Holy Spirit to insist on and instill the love of God in every genuine Christian. We should cherish this ministry and encourage others and ourselves about it often.
Often the ministry of the Spirit giving gifts, giving power to do, and healing can seem like what everyone knows or wants to know more about. Power is captivating to mere humans like us. But while no Christian has every spiritual gift, every Christian can know God's love because it is a primary and plain service of the Holy Spirit to give peace, joy, hope, and love through pouring the knowledge of God's love over our hearts.
Paul had to remind the Corinthian church, who thought the more power from the Spirit, the more godly you would be, that great speaking, great knowledge, great faith, and great sacrifice meant nothing without love. Love is the greatest thing in the world! (1 Corinthians 13:1-3,8)
My wife and I send text messages to our grown-up kids routinely. We most always write, I love you, love you, I love you a ton, or I love you so much when we do.
When we say our goodbyes to them in person, via Zoom, Facetime, or even an old fashion phone call, we tell them, and they tell us, I love you, many times before we end the talk. The repetition never ever bothers me.
The Most Important Thing
When John writes that God is love, he means, as he will explain, that the Father, through Christ, has saved us who were once lost sinners from our sins by God showing His love by sending His Son. And this is what makes God's love so consistent. Love begins with God. Love is poured into our hearts by the Spirit of God. Love is given and sustained because of what the Son of God accomplished at the cross. Where love is, God is.
In the history of your own lives. If you would sit down and record from the beginning until now what God has been to you and done for you, what evidence and outbreaking of His mercy, faithfulness, and love there have been in all the conditions you have passed through.
We are so well-loved; may God our Father, by the Holy Spirit, keep us there.
P.S. I played this song more than five times today. Maybe you will too?