Thursday, April 28, 2005

Amazin' Love

Faith, hope and love are important aspects of our lives. But Jesus said, "The greatest of these is love." Isn't that the truth!! Love is so important in our lives and we really can't (and don't want to) ever live without it. Love can be defined in many different ways such as a parent's love for their children; erotic love and commitment of marriage between spouses; brotherly love of friends and fellow Christians; and, of course, the agape love of God. Agape is the term used to describe the love of God for his children and the love of us, as his children, for God. However, some find God's love for mankind confusing. I think this is due to a misunderstanding of what agape love really is. What does agape love consist of? Scripture teaches us that God "first loved us" and desires fellowship with each one of us in this life and in the life to come. He wants to love us unconditionally. He longs for us to love him freely, without reservation, without any barriers between us. However, sin has marred the chance for such a relationship because God is holy and cannot accept the presence of sin. His righteousness is the antithesis of sin and His justice declares that sin be punished, and the penalty is death. Because God loves us, His plan included a Substitute who would be our Savior, the One willing to take that punishment we deserved and lay down His life for His friends. We have the free will choice to either accept or reject this Ultimate Gift. Our sin will either remain upon our own individual souls, or, we will choose to accept God's gift of salvation, Jesus Christ who took the punishment we deserve upon himself in order for us to be redeemed for eternity. What is the cost of this gift to us? It is free. What was the cost to Jesus? It was his life. Death is the punishment for sin, so Christ took the condemnation for OUR sins upon himself in order that we be made pure through his shed blood on the cross. Why blood? Because God's word says, "without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins." What is our part in this? It is to answer Jesus' question, "Who do you say that I am?" It is to confess our sins and ask Jesus into our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to reign in our hearts now and into eternity. Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the hope that we have, as demonstrated in his resurrection to life abides in Him. If Jesus had come down from that cross, as the one thief on the cross and some of the soldiers said mockingly to him, then he would not have paid the penalty of death for our sins and he would have entered into heaven alone. Because of our Savior, at the moment of our physical death, we will be united to him immediately because Scripture tells us "to be absent from the body is to be with the Lord." Thank you Lord Jesus. I love you and I trust you with my life now and forever!

Amazin' love, how can it be?
That you my King should die for me?

Amazin' love, I know it's true
And it's my joy to honor You
In all I do
To honor You!

No comments: