This past week was Valentine’s Day. Some of us as husbands and maybe boyfriends looked for ways that we could express our love for our significant others. For Deb and I that meant an overnight trip to Philadelphia. Philadelphia has become one of our favorite places to go and spend quiet time together. But I was thinking about how God has demonstrated His great love for us. John in his first epistle writes, “and we be have beheld and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world”, (4:14, NASB). John was always amazed at the experience he had of being able to behold the Lord Jesus Christ. He never got over the experience of following Christ and being his disciple, nor should we. The word “beheld” has the idea of beholding something extraordinary. It is the idea of seeing something that is astonishing or striking. Back maybe 20 years ago while I was pastoring in central Michigan we had the experience of seeing the northern lights. I had never seen such an extraordinary event occur at night time and it was amazing to consider. This is the awe and contemplation that John experienced when he considered the awesomeness of being a follower the Lord Jesus Christ and the fact that God sent His Son into the world to demonstrate His great love for us. Jesus charged his disciples to be his witnesses. The provision of Jesus’s death is for everyone but it is only applicable for those that accept Him as their Savior. Remember the reason that God sent His Son for us was to demonstrate His great love for us.
This is clearly seen in Romans 5 where we read, “but God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” (v.8, NASB). We can talk about what is the best Valentine’s Day gift to give our wives or girlfriends but most certainly the greatest love gift of all time was the gift of the Father in sending the Lord Jesus Christ in the form a servant to be our sacrifice. God delights in saving sinners and His heart is full of love. When we think of the dreadful seen at the cross, the Lamb of God stretched out naked and nailed with the mocking crowd we know that it was God’s love gift that He sent His Son to be our Savior. We were guilty sinners deserving only God’s punishment and death and yet God changed us from His enemies into His family and friends by the sacrifice of His Son. If God were to love like humans love there would be no salvation, no heaven, no gospel to cheer our heart and we would be left on our own. Because we don’t usually give our love to our enemies but God’s surprising “agape” love towards us should warm our hearts and expand our love towards Him. We should have a devout confidence in our Heavenly Father who has used every means conceivable so that we may be with Him throughout all of eternity. Wow, the magnitude and richness of the Father’s love is really unfathomable. I hope that you have experienced this amazing love, for truly it is the greatest love gift possible.
All for God’s glory,
Pastor Rich Sivo