THE FATHER’S GREAT LOVE by Harold Sala

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“Love is what makes the world go round,” contends an old song. And whether that’s true or not, it’s a sure thing that our world would be a drab and desolate place apart from the greenery of love’s landscape. In the upper room at the last Passover, Jesus wanted to impress some very important truths on His followers. “As the Father has loved me,” He said, “so have I loved you.” (John 15:9) Then moments later He said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.” Let me paraphrase. Jesus is saying, “I have loved you like the Father has loved me; now you love each other in the same manner.”

A sociological discussion of love leaving God out can never go beyond the carbon copy, or the novice’s copy of the great Master’s work. If you ever really understand the nature of love, you have to look at the nature of the Father himself and how He loves us as His children. “God is love” says John. He doesn’t say, “Now God is something like love!” He makes a simple statement. GOD IS LOVE.

On today’s edition of Guidelines, I’d like to share four observations about that love which forms a pattern or benchmark for us. First God’s love is constant. It is not fickle; it knows no ups or downs. Remember as a child, taking a daisy and pulling the petals off one by one as you thought of your childhood sweetheart, saying, “He loves me; he loves me not.” But when it comes to your Father’s love, it is unchanging. He will always love you no matter what you do, no matter how far you may stray.

The second observation about God’s love in relationship to us is that it is absolute. It is never dependent upon your response. It is His nature to love you without fluctuation. Contrasting this is the fact that so much of our love is dependent upon the response of the one we love. Parents make a big mistake when they make love dependent upon good behavior. “If you are a good boy, daddy will love you,” or “Drink your milk now, or else…” Mom, could I ask, “Or else what?”

Many people today do not really understand the nature of God’s love because the love of their parents’ has been so fickle. An abortion, a spiritual failure, a period of backsliding results in the feeling that a person has committed an unforgivable sin which drives them beyond the reach of God’s love. Should you feel like this, friend, realize that God’s love is absolute, as certain as the promise of the Word itself.

The third observation about God’s love is that it is unrelenting. I think of God’s love as a hound dog that keeps on sniffing your trail when you have gone astray until eventually you stop dead in your tracks and turn to Him. Read Psalm 139, that asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” And the obvious answer is, “Nowhere!”

Finally, the fourth fact which I would like to point out about the Father’s love to us is that it is undeserved and unmerited. We don’t deserve it but we are blessed because of it, and all of this gives us a beautiful picture of how we ought to love each other and can love each other.

As God’s love is constant, so should we strive to love in the same way; as God’s love is absolute, so should our love be without strings attached. As His love is unrelenting, so must we strive to keep on loving and loving and loving. As His love is undeserved, so must ours be. A final thought: I’m not sure that love is what makes the world go round but it is what keeps the world from going crazy, and that’s a fact.

Resource Reading: Romans 8:31-39

Text: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? Romans 8:35

GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – May 30, 2017