You Are Loved—Life Application for March 5, 2017

February 26, 2017 No Comments »
You Are Loved—Life Application for March 5, 2017

By David Faust

If the Bible didn’t say it, we might not dare to think it is true: “God is love.” Can you think of any more important words than those? John summed up God’s character in this theological nutshell, saying it twice for emphasis (1 John 4:8, 16).

God isn’t an impersonal force. He is a personal being capable of knowing, feeling, and doing—cognition, emotion, and action. His I.Q. is off the charts and his E.Q. (emotional intelligence) is unsurpassed.

God is the source and initiator of love. “We love because he first loved us” (v. 19). God isn’t stingy about this. He loves freely and generously. “God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5).

God Is Light

John not only said, “God is love.” He also said, “God is light; in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). In his book Knowing God, J. I. Packer wrote, “The God who is love is first and foremost light, and sentimental ideas of his love as an indulgent, benevolent softness, divorced from moral standards and concerns, must therefore be ruled out from the start.”

We must not turn our view of God into a caricature and reduce him to a weak, mild-mannered grandfather in the sky. The God of love is also the Creator-Ruler who shaped the heavens and earth, judged and destroyed the world in Noah’s day, led the Hebrews across the wilderness for 40 years, and sent plainspoken prophets to warn the people when they strayed. The God of love is the Almighty King who rules sovereignly over the nations, whose holiness surpasses our comprehension, and whose Spirit inspired the Holy Scriptures. As Packer pointed out, “The God whom Jesus made known is not a God who is indifferent to moral distinctions but a God who loves righteousness and hates iniquity.”

This all-powerful God shows amazing kindness when he stoops down and says to his people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

This Includes You

God’s love changes how we view other people. Everyone you meet today or hear about in the news—the fit and famous athlete, the washed-up former movie star, your shy neighbor who keeps to herself, your pesky coworkers and frustrating customers, the ones considered successful leaders or disappointing failures—God loves them all. He loves members of that political party you can’t stand. He loves immigrants—legal ones and illegal ones. He loves poor people, rich people, attractive and repulsive people. He even loves atheists who deny his existence.

On your worst day, God loves you. On your best day, God celebrates with you. On the day when you feel worthless, God sees you as priceless. On the day when you feel ugly, God embraces you. On the day when everyone else rejects you, he is there with open arms.

On the day when you feel happy and victorious, his smile will be your greatest reward. On the day when you feel sick, weak, embarrassed, vulnerable, or scared, he will be there to support you and share your pain. On the day when you’re exhausted and think no one cares, he will say, “Come to me.”

As long as God exists—and that will be forever—you can be sure of this: You are loved.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

Daily Readings

Feb. 20

M.

Romans 6:1-11

Walk in Newness of Life

Feb. 21

T.

Luke 8:4-15

The Sower and the Seed

Feb. 22

W.

1 Peter 1:3-9

Gifts that Lead to Faithfulness

Feb. 23

T.

James 5:13-20

Wholeness by Prayer and Action

Feb. 24

F.

Matthew 18:15-20

Practice Mutual Discipline

Feb. 25

S.

1 Corinthians 9:3-12

Support Ministers Generously

Feb. 26

S.

Galatians 5:18–6:10

Choose to Love Each Other

 

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