Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Current Study: 1 Peter
Today’s Topic: God’s Love
Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Are you sure? That seemingly simple question began the downfall of mankind. The sneaky snake in the Garden of Eden asked that question to Eve. Knowing he would have only one chance to destroy the perfection of God’s creation, he carefully determined the weakest link in a human’s free will. With one question he cast doubt into the mind of the woman. He didn’t blurt it right out. He was subtle. But when he was done, the bottom line was this – Are you really sure that God really loves you?
Think about it. Every doubt we deliberate; every deed we dignify; every dysfunction we develop; they all stem from the evil root of lost love. When we do not know that we know that we know that we are loved, we will do anything to earn it. The certainty of the love of God is the passionate pursuit of the heart of man.
Whether you are one or one hundred, the love of God is the simplest yet most profound truth you will ever discover. Helen Smith of Wheaton, Illinois, writes in Christian Reader,
My 3-year-old granddaughter, Helen, and her parents were dining at a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal her parents broke open their fortune cookies and read their fortunes aloud. Helen wanted to “read” her fortune, too. “It says,” she announced proudly, “Jesus loves me!”
The simple truth explodes on the heart of a child. On the other end of the spectrum, Karl Barth was invited to deliver one of the distinguished lectureships at a theological seminary in the East, and while he was there a group of ministers and theologians and dignitaries of one kind or another sat down with him in a kind of question-and-answer period. Someone asked the question, “What is the most profound thought that you know, Dr. Barth?” This is what he said: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”
Four-year-old Ashton Clarke loves the movie Toy Story 2, particularly the space ranger hero Buzz Lightyear. Recently in Sunday school his teacher was explaining that God’s love has no limits. At the end of class, the teacher, reviewing the lesson, asked, “So, how much does God love us?” Quoting Buzz’s big line in the film, Ashton replied, “To infinity and beyond!”
There is no problem that you will experience today that is greater than God’s love. There is no tragedy in the world that can put to death the love of God. There is nothing in the life of His child that can separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus. You are loved! God loves you!
I close today with the words to a wonderful old song. I can still see and hear my friend Kathy in Minnesota singing this. Let the words touch deeply into your heart.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.