59: My Scripture of the Year for 2014
My Scripture of the Year for 2014
The passage of scripture that I find myself thinking about and meditating on more than any other this year is found in the 5th chapter of Romans. I have been so encouraged reading the 4th and 5th chapters because they are filled with the good news of the gospel.
The verse that I have come to appreciate, which encapsulates the good news, is Romans 5:8:
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
As I have pondered and chewed on these inspired 17 words, I have received several messages that encourage and challenge me. I hope they will reveal God’s heart of love for you as they have for me.
1 The second word of this verse can be translated several different ways:
God shows his love for us
God commends his love for us
God demonstrates his love for us
God clearly proves his love for us
God has made clear his love for us
The coming of Jesus in the form of a baby, and his subsequent death on the cross, is how God chose to reveal, show, commend, demonstrate, clearly prove, and make clear His love for each of us. This sending of His only beloved Son is the way God chose to communicate to each of us, “I love you.”
2 “While we were sinners”, He loved us. He has always loved us. While we were most needy and unlovable, He made clear His love for us. This kind of love has nothing to do with the state of our heart. It has everything to do with His great heart. His love is un-conditional. He made the first move and sought us when we were rebellious hard hearted sinners. He took our place on the cross when we were weak and needy. This verse oozes with grace.
3 God took the initiative to send us this inspired message. We weren’t crying out for a Savior as the the children of Israel were in Egypt. We weren’t seeking Him and did not recognize or receive Him when He appeared.
Romans 3:11 No one understands; no one seeks for God.
John 1:11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
The implications of this verse are far reaching especially when you consider John 15:12 where we are commanded to love others as God has loved us. If God loved us when we were most needy, can we do any less? He did not wait until we had our lives cleaned up, He proactively moved first and loved us when we were messy and unloveable. We love because He first loved us!
4 He was totally committed and loved us to the end. While on earth He spoke words of life, raised the dead, healed the sick, and lived a perfect life of love and service and still He was crucified. Even then He didn’t change His mind based on their actions but continued to love them enduring a cruel humiliating death on a public cross. John 13:1 Before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
As I meditate on that kind of unconditional committed love, I am reminded of God’s commission to me as a Christian husband and father. I am called to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Should I only love my wife when they she is properly respectful and submissive? Should I only love my children when they are honoring and obedient? That is not how He loved me.
He took the initiative and loved me first. If I am to love others, as God in Christ has loved me, then I need to make the first move and love, serve, and give myself to others regardless of how they look, think, or act. Because that is how God graciously demonstrated His love for me.