He Loves Me, What Next?
The above title is a partial quote from a brother who had a role in church leadership. He was taking issue with an emphasis I had in sermons and classes on the love of God for us. In his frustration with me, he exclaimed, “Okay, God loves me! I get it! What next?” The sad thing is, he really didn’t get it. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that I could never be unbalanced in my teaching and preaching. But will someone tell me what I am to preach if not the love of God?! The idea that we could comprehend it so that we could move on to another subject doesn’t compute with me. Everything springs from this source…this most basic characteristic of our God Who is Love (1 John 4:8). Creation, redemption’s story, prophecy, judgements, commandments, worship, work, discipleship, suffering, promises, and on and on, all come forth from the love of God. The love of Father God…I am told it is a deep well…deep enough that when the drought comes and all other cisterns are empty or broken, it still holds the life-giving drink. God’s love…I’m told it is a mighty river that sings its way through the land of humans and upon whose shores trees prosper producing every good fruit that gladdens and ennobles the hearts of women and men everywhere. Divine “agape” love…I’m told it is an immense ocean the bottom of which we cannot sound, the width of which we cannot cross and into which all our sins may be cast never to be seen or heard from again. It is Christ dwelling in our hearts through faith Who roots and grounds us in this love. It is our Jesus Who challenges us to know this unknowable love and to comprehend its breadth, length, height and depth. An absolutely impossible invitation which sets our feet upon a most delightful adventure in which we are always within the security of our Father’s love. If we flee to heaven or hades, we find His love awaits us. If we take the wings of morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea even there His loving hand holds us, leads us. Whether it is day or night, we wake or sleep in the comfort of His love. All of our lives will be spent in the school of God’s love. We will never graduate in this life. The more we learn of it, the more we want to know of it. Each new lesson gives us brand new and further-reaching perspective. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us. It is high…so high! We cannot attain unto it. But we will forever try! Bless His Name. Okay then…God does love you. Do you get it? If so, you will delight to spend all your days learning and living the beautiful lessons of a love that never grows old. By the way, if I am ever accused of preaching and teaching the love of God…I hope the charge sticks and that there is plenty of evidence to find me guilty as charged.