Love Divine

Love Divine

Love Divine

3C

Matthew 3:16  After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”  (NLT)

In the heart of God, there was never a moment’s hesitation when it came to humanity – before the foundations of the earth, He loved us, chose us and planned masterfully how He would adopt us into His family (Ephesians 1:4-6).  From the very start His love was such that it came to us, ultimately in the manifest form of Jesus.  We never had to search for it or try to find or earn the love of God.  Love chose us, came to us and accepted us regardless of our history or achievement.  Just as in the time of Israel the love of God is ever-present in our lives, very often in ways that we don’t even recognize or acknowledge (Hosea 11:1-12).  It is this, the sacred love of our Father that stands between us and eminent disaster!  It is because of His great love for us that we receive the Spirit of adoption that takes us from a place of perpetual fear and slavery to a place of acceptance and belonging in the family of God.  

The Father chose us when nobody else would.  Because of His divine nature He chooses and loves every single one of us as if we are the only one.  Receiving this kind of love rules out all need for competition, performance, fear or comparison.  His love is such that it causes Him to pay attention to every single one of us all the time.  Not only does He lavish this divine love on us, He also empowers us to respond to His love in kind.  When He commands us to love Him (Deuteronomy 6:5), He does so because it is in loving Him that we become fully alive.  Deuteronomy 30:6 holds the beautiful promise that the Lord will change our hearts and the hearts of our children so that we will love Him completely and so live.  

Unlike human love, Agape love or divine love speaks of a kind of love that does not rise up spontaneously in response to the object of love.  Instead, this kind of love is a constant, pre-existent, non-provokable love that exists completely separate from the person being loved.  It does not increase or decrease based on outside factors.  Agape love is an expression of the very nature of God – the perfect love that sees worth and something infinitely precious in someone even when it does not exist.  It is this love that prompted the Father to reach out to us even when we were undeserving to the point of being His enemies.   

Experiencing the love of God changes us.  The apostle Paul says that everything that used to be of value to him became worthless in comparison to the infinite value of knowing Christ (Philippians 3:7-11), who is the expression of God’s tremendous love for us.  Once we receive this unconditional, prodigal kind of love from God, it enables us to love others with this same kind of love (2 Corinthians 1:4).  Just like our Father, we become lovers of people as an expression of who we are rather than a reflection of what they did.  The beauty of this is that divine love paves the way for us and those we love in this way to become what we have never been.  Love that seeks out, that insists on finding value and treating as worthy not only empowers, but also brings into existence the very worth previously absent.

Join us this week as we step into love divine, opening up our hearts to the unfathomable, overwhelming love of God towards us whilst at the same time lavising the very same love we received on everybody in our world!

 

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