GOD LOVES YOU, DO YOU LOVE HIM?
In recent times, our generation has lit up with a great “revelation” or should I say understanding of God’s love for us, and rightly so. We spent a long time – may be too long a time – hearing so much of God’s wrath and justice, while knowing and experiencing little of his love. This had a great psychological impact on our spiritual journey, so much so that when at some point we stumbled into this loving nature of God, we leaped for Joy, as though we had found the proverbial pot of gold.
This has set us on a head-spinning streak of excitement. This “revelation of God’s love for us” has become so much of a trending topic and owing to this, it is practically impossible to walk into any “Christian Youth gathering” and not hear mantras like; “God is love”, “Love is the nature of God”, “God loves you”, “God is not angry at you” and others being sung like they were hit songs. Some of these mantras are true and relevant while others are just preposterous and mere fragments of people’s wishful thinking. However, in all this excitement there is an aspect to God’s love that although so pertinent is still very much neglected by those who proclaim God’s love. This is the aspect of responding to God loving us. Loving God.
One of the most beautiful thing about love is the fact that it is not compulsive. Love doesn’t force itself on others. Let us illustrate this point with an analogy; If I tell a Lady that I love her while pointing a gun at her and demanding she says the same to me, that is not loving, is it? But when I tell her I love her while holding out a flower that is a good improvement, right? But it goes further when I say those words to her, I do so in the hope, desire, and expectation that she will say the same to me. But nevertheless, my love for her means I will accept and respect whatever response she gives, right? It is identical with God, the pages of scripture are littered with God screaming out his he loves us, one of the scriptures that most affirms this is that famous verse: John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Here we see God not just saying it but going further and showing it. Let us go back to my love analogy for a moment, because I love the lady I expect her to reciprocate the love, and if she doesn’t I will hurt. It is in the same light that God wants us to reciprocate his love. You see, if the lady doesn’t reciprocate my love, I will hurt because I have lost something, but when we don’t reciprocate God’s love, God hurts not because he loses anything, rather he hurts but because we would have lost everything. Because the entirety of our walk with him and experience of his nature hangs on our response to his love.
In Mark 12:30 our Lord spoke these words “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”, I realize that is quite an intense and scary way to begin a paragraph and some may accuse me of preaching the law, so I’ll back up a little and give a context to the verse. In the discourse that led to that statement, Jesus was asked what the first and most important commandment was, and he didn’t waste any time in saying those words, and even though he was quoting from the Law it doesn’t diminish the relevance of that command, because the entirety of our relationship with God is hinged on that verse, let me explain. Romans 8:28 which communicates one of the biggest promises of God to his children is dependent on that command, the verse reads “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” Do you see it? All things will work together for our good not just because God loves us but equally important because we have responded to his love.
It is beautiful and amazing that God loves us, but it will mean nothing if we don’t reciprocate that love. So God’s love for us hands us a beautiful privilege and responsibility of loving him back. The Apostle John in his first letter said these words “We love him because he first loved us.” – 1John 4:19 implicit in this verse is the fact that the only reason we can love him is that he has first loved us. So yes we should bask in and be excited about the fact that God loves us, but it equally important to ask ourselves: if we love him.
Written By Emigbanam Uwitaisuk
Edited/Proofread By Cirphrank
And that’s it for PBG5ONE TVC for the day, keep an eye out for the podcast version, see you next week. Thank you.