Friday, August 26, 2016

Change Agent: I'm Optimistic - Pt. 4 "I am loved by God"

“…and crowns you with love and compassion…” (Psalm 103:4) 

The crown of a King represents his position and standing.  The crown declares that the person who wears it--IS KING!  God's love is our crown.  His love declares (of all who have received it) that we are His children.  We are sons and daughters of the King!

For God, love is much more than mere sentiment. It’s a way of acting. When the bible speaks of God’s love for us it’s not saying God sits in heaven with warm fuzzy feelings toward us.  I’m not saying God has no affection for his children, He absolutely does, but His love for us goes much deeper than mere sentiment or affection. Sentiment says nice things. God’s love left heaven, was born into this this broken world—not as a king, but as a social nobody, lived among us and went to the cross for us.

Whenever the Bible speaks of God’s love for us, it always describes how he loves us. Psalm 136 is a song of praise, repeating its chorus, “His love endures forever,” twenty-six times. Every line of the psalm reminds us how sovereign God truly is. And by inserting again and again the phrase—“His love endures forever,” the psalm reminds us that this awesome, sovereign God cares about us and is always reaching out to us in love—not because He needs to or has to, but simply because He chooses to.

“…to him who alone does great wonders, 
His love endures forever. 
who by his understanding made the heavens, 
His love endures forever. 
who spread out the earth upon the waters, 
His love endures forever. 
who made the great lights—
His love endures forever. 
the sun to govern the day, 
His love endures forever.
the moon and stars to govern the night;
His love endures forever.
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel out from among them
His love endures forever.
with a mighty hand and outstretched arm;
His love endures forever.
to him who divided the Red Sea asunder
His love endures forever.
and brought Israel through the midst of it,
His love endures forever.
but swept Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea;
His love endures forever.” 
(Ps. 136: 4-15) 

God’s love creates, calls, rescues, defeats enemies and delivers those who trust Him!

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16). 

God’s love gives. All of us who have trusted Christ are redeemed because of the compassionate, generosity of God—motivated by His love.

“God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5). 

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). 

God’s love doesn’t wait around for us to get our life together—it initiates reconciliation by taking the first step. John says it this way, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). 

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions” (Eph. 2:4-5). 

On and on the Bible goes about God’s amazing, action-oriented-love; always giving, reaching out, drawing, defending, restoring, redeeming, etc. No wonder John said, “God is love” (John 4:8). His nature and His actions are synonymous.

I was created in love. When I rebelled, love died on a cross to redeem me. When I surrendered to Christ, love was poured into my heart and every day I wake up knowing that nothing I face can separate me from the Love God has for me through Christ.

I’m optimistic because God loves me!

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