Magazine February 2017


Emphasis: I Love You -Paul Alberts
Worship: Amazing Patience -Leslie M. Grant
Feature: The Love Of God For Us Who Believe -Milton Jamieson
Feature: God Is Love -Jacob Redekop
Feature: The Love Of God A Love Poured Forth -Alfred Bouter
Feature: The Love Of God -David Anderson
YouAsked: How do we keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21)? -Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.
Uplook: The Windshield Or The Rearview Mirror? -Timothy P. Hadley
Discover: Discover Questions -Alan Groth
Family: Resolving Family Conflicts -Emmanuel V. John
Response: Responses
Overview: Habakkuk -Leslie M. Grant
Series: A Few Thoughts On Prophecy -Alfred Bouter
GoodNews: To You With Love -Samuel Rice
Full Magazine PDF: Magazine PDF

The Windshield Or The Rearview Mirror?

By Timothy P. Hadley

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

A post on social media that I saw recently said, “Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there is a reason the rear view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big. Where you are heading is much more important than what you have left behind!”

The thought came to me, “As we travel down the road of life, where do we spend time looking the most?” As Christians, we need to keep our eyes on the Lord, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith …” (Heb. 12:2). He is the object we should be pressing toward, realizing He has used our past experiences to bring us to this point. We are to press on – intensely endeavoring to go forward, with our eyes on Him who is the prize!

The windshield is big so we can see where we are going and not miss anything that is ahead of us. The Lord has so much in front of you to enjoy, keep reaching forward. Keep pressing ahead! The rear view mirror should only be used to remind us that the way forward is clear! Even our side mirrors are used for passing and moving forward.

Which direction are you looking? Which direction are you moving? As you fix your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, ask Him to help you make forward progress today!

How do we keep ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21)?

By Eugene P. Vedder, Jr.

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” –Jude 20-23 NKJV

ANSWER: Jude wrote his brief epistle to fellow-Christians – persons who have individually trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Every believer can speak of Him as “the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). The Son assures us, “the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God” (Jn. 16:27). Many other Bible verses also show that God loves us.

The exhortation, or encouragement, to keep ourselves in the love of God is more than a statement of assurance; it is an exhortation to pursue – a command to follow. It is the core of the sentence in which it occurs, for technically the other three clauses in that sentence describe ways by which we can keep ourselves in the love of God. These ways, along with two others in the passage, are:

1. “Building yourselves up on your most holy faith” 
We are in an ungodly world – a world of self-seekers in rebellion and at enmity against God. It is needful to occupy ourselves with the Word, meditate upon it and give time to studying it. By this we see what God in His grace has for His own. We learn the riches of His grace and are drawn closer to His loving heart.

2. “Praying in the Holy Spirit” 
Our hearts respond to Him in prayer. Not just a “give me” kind of prayer, but worship and praise and thanksgiving for who He is and for what He has done. We think of His interests and purposes in this wicked world and of the needs of others, bringing these matters to God in intercession. We enjoy fellowship with our Savior and with God our Father.

3. “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” 
As we contemplate this world in which we live – its rebellion against God and its self-seeking – our hearts long to be with the Lord. We think of His promise and long for its fulfillment, for His coming to take us to Himself. What a mercy it will be to be taken out of this world to be with Him forever! But there’s still more.

4. “On some have compassion, making a distinction” 
As we appreciate and enjoy the love of God and the riches of His grace, we will want others in this poor world – loved ones, friends and neighbors – to share in these things too. We’ll feel their emptiness and need, and we long to see them saved and blessed as we are. We will seek to reach out and share what we have with them.

5. “But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh” 
There are many round about us whose wickedness and corruption are obvious. We avoid them for we don’t feel comfortable among them, instinctively shying away from them. There’s no fellowship between the light we have been given and the deep darkness they are in. But they also need the Savior, and the Lord has died for them too. While fearful and afraid of being defiled by contact with them, we feel their tremendous need and want to draw them to our Savior whom they so desperately need.

All these are essential if we want to keep ourselves in the love of God. We especially need the first three for our own personal, spiritual gain. The final two are the outflow toward others in need. May God help us in all these ways to keep ourselves basking in the enjoyment of His love!

The Love Of God: A Love Poured Forth

By Alfred Bouter

God is eternal, for He is “from eternity to eternity” (Ps. 90:2 JND) or “from everlasting to everlasting” (NKJV). Furthermore, “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8,16). Combining these two aspects of God we see that He always was, is and will be love. God’s love is therefore eternal (“everlasting love,” Jer. 31:3 KJV). In His prayer to the Father recorded in John 17, the Lord Jesus mentioned that the Father loved the Son from “before the foundation of the world” (v.24).

The love of God is a topic that cannot be exhausted. While I was meditating on this, three passages came to mind: one in Romans 5, another in 1 John, and one other in Jude. Before we briefly consider these portions, let us ponder a few general thoughts about the love of God.

Love is God’s nature, and it cannot be separated from what God is in Himself, namely that “God is light” (1 Jn. 1:5) and that He dwells “in the light” (v.7). God is invisible to His creatures (see 1 Tim. 1:17, 6:16)1, yet He has revealed Himself in the Son: “Jesus said … ‘he who has seen Me, has seen the Father’” (Jn. 14:9 NKJV). When He became Man, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14).

The Son, Jesus, came into this world to do God’s will (Ps. 40:7-8; Jn. 4:34), which He always did (8:29). In contrast, man, who had been created for God’s glory, dishonored Him – first in Adam and Eve’s fall (Gen. 3) and then ever since (Rom. 5:12). Jesus’ sinless perfection showed how corrupt we are, with no exception, because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (3:23 KJV).

However, in His love the Lord Jesus gave Himself to be the Sacrifice through which we were redeemed, as the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses (purifies) us from all sin. In doing this work, the Lord Jesus displayed the truth of the marvelous statement that “God is love.” It is unfathomable, profound and immeasurable. In perfect love the Father gave the Son and the Son gave Himself to save us from God’s wrath, so we might forever have fellowship with the Father and the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 1:3).

As believers, therefore, we walk in the light and have fellowship with one another (v.7). We have received a new nature which is of God, and He has poured out His love into our hearts – the center of our being – to be able to respond to His love. Even though we are living in a wicked world, we are here for His glory and for doing good – representing our God, who is love.

God’s Love Poured Out 
The Lord Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about “the gift of God” and His giving of “living water” (Jn. 4:10). Then speaking about those who receive the living water, He said, “The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (v.14 NKJV). In other words, what He pours out into the believer goes back to its Source. The chapter shows later that this last point implies a response because what God pours out in His love goes back to Him in worship.

Here is the background: When the Lord Jesus accomplished His work on the cross, He died and then was buried, but on the third day He rose again from among the dead. After forty days He ascended to heaven, and ten days later He sent from there the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:2-4). On that day Peter spoke to the multitude in Jerusalem and said that God had made the same Jesus to be Lord and Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed (v.36). As Lord He is in perfect control, and God anointed Him with oil of gladness above His companions (Heb. 1:9). Now, before He reigns as Messiah on earth, He shares with the believers this anointing, or “unction” (KJV), for which reason they are called Christians and represent Him, being intimately linked with Him.

The apostle Paul wrote that “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:5 ESV). In addition to God giving us a new nature that is able to respond to His love, He has poured out His love into our hearts. The Holy Spirit enables us to give a response, implied in the above quote from John 4:14, that this love may return to God in thanksgiving, praise and worship.

Relying On God’s Love – Romans 5 
In Romans 5 Paul linked all that we have already considered with lessons we need to learn in God’s school, where tribulations, sufferings and trials are used by God to build His character in us. As we learn to rely on God and expect help from Him we put our confidence in Him, rather than depending on our selves and efforts. Relying on Him through faith, we learn to appreciate His provisions as the Holy Spirit leads us to worship and adoration. Thus, God’s Spirit causes the living water poured into us to go back to its Source.

How is this possible? The apostle explained it as follows: God saved us, according to His mercy, “through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Ti. 3:5-6). The Holy Spirit is involved in our salvation by means of the water of God’s Word (Jn. 3:3-5). Using the Scriptures, He enables us to properly respond to our God and Father, and to the Lord Jesus (Jn. 4:24; Heb. 13:15). Therefore, in Paul’s second prayer in Ephesians,2 he expressed his desire that Christ may dwell in our hearts and that we may know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:16-19). God’s love – the love of Christ – is so wonderful and great that we will never come to the end of it. Yet He wants us to know that love which surpasses knowledge!

“God Is Love” – 1 John 4:8,16 
This amazing and profound statement is really beyond our grasp. It is closely linked to a few other points made in the same chapter. This agape3 love “is of God” (v.7 NKJV) since He is its Source, for “God is love.” The same verse goes on to say that everyone who loves is born of God and knows Him. That is to say he or she has a relationship with Him, for this love is enjoyed in the context of a relationship with its Source – God, the great Giver.

Some Intimate Links Between The Lord Jesus And Believers Found In First John
• “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as Hewalked” (2:6).
• “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (3:3).
• “Little children, let no one deceive you, He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous” (3:7).
• “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world” (4:17).

For us to receive and enjoy this love, the Son needed to accomplish His mission of fully satisfying God as to our sins – the “propitiation” (v.10). The Son achieved the work of redemption, and on that basis God could show favor towards us that we might live through Him. What He has done demonstrates the love God has for us.

This is then connected with our love towards one another as children of God (v.11). If we love one another while God abides or remains in/with us, this proves that His objective has been realized (v.12). This is also linked to a true confession of Jesus as Savior and to the enjoyment of God’s love in us, as we remain (“abide” or “continue”) in Him and in love (vv.14-16). In this context the statement that “God is love” is repeated once more (v.16).

There is also a link with the future: love made perfect “with us.” “Herein has love been perfected with us that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, that even as He is, we also are in this world” (v.17 JND). In other words, this whole paragraph in 1 John 4 speaks of God’s love – past, present and future!

Keeping Ourselves In The Love Of God – Jude 21 
We conclude with the matter of our responsibility, which does not contradict this amazing topic of the love of God. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21). We are living in the age of grace in which God’s amazing love is displayed and experienced in many different ways. At the same time the enemy attacks what is precious to God and tries to rob Him by assaulting the believers. God, however, is and remains in control.

Yet we have our responsibility. First, we are encouraged to build up ourselves on our most holy faith (v.20), once delivered (entrusted or committed) to the saints (v.3). God’s foundation does not change, although everything else does. We need to keep building on this right foundation. Second, we need to keep praying in the Holy Spirit, in tune with Him and depending on Him as the Lord Jesus always did. Third, we need to keep4 ourselves in the love of God, namely that we remain or abide in it, which is John’s major theme. This implies that we cultivate our relationship with Him in prayer, reading and obeying God’s Word, and putting it into practice. Fourth, keeping ourselves goes together with waiting, looking forward to our Lord’s coming. His coming again will be an act of mercy to us, by snatching us away from this wicked world. We may look forward to that, for then He will usher us into eternal life.

We received eternal life the moment we believed (Jn. 3:16), along with the new nature, which is “His seed” in us (1 Jn. 3:9). We cultivate this special treasure in us by properly responding to God’s love in our daily lives. At the same time we are on the way to eternal life where He dwells and where we will dwell with Him and with each other forever. Praise God!

1. God is love and He loves: the Father loves, the Son loves and the Holy Spirit loves. This love will never contradict what God is, namely light. This balance was demonstrated in the Lord Jesus’ life on earth, “full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14). 
2. This prayer (Eph. 3:14-21) is addressed to the Father. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ even though He is called the God of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:17), the glorified Man at God’s right hand. The triune God is called the Father of Glory. In Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3, the emphasis is on the eternal relationship of the Father and the Son, for which reason many manuscripts omit the words “of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 
3. The Greek text has different words for love, such as agape, which emphasizes God as its Source and ultimate Object. Along with other places, this term is used in 1 John 3-4. The new nature we received when we repented and believed is in tune with this love and cannot sin (1 Jn. 3:9). God uses it to display His love to where we are. In a world of hatred, we may display love; in a world of darkness, light; and in a scene of death, life. 
4. The New Testament uses this verb (Gr. tereo) 70 times, a study in itself, of which 36 are in John’s writings.

God Is Love

God is love concept text lying on the rustic wooden background.

By Jacob Redekop

John called himself the disciple “whom Jesus loved” (Jn. 13:23, 20:2, 21:7,20 NKJV), and to him was given the great favor to write about the love of God, which he did in most eloquent terms in the gospel and three epistles that bear his name. Despite the fact that John, the apostle, did not use his name as the author in the four books, evidence within them makes it very clear that he, the one who leaned on Jesus’ bosom, was their penman as used by the Spirit of God. The books’ glorious theme of the love of God touches our hearts, knowing that His love has reached down to save us from our sins and draw us to Himself. Although much has been written about the love of God, this subject has not been, nor ever will be, exhausted.

Sin entered the world through one man: Adam. Through that original sin, death has passed to all men because all have sinned, and therefore the whole world is guilty before God. The sad effect of this has left man eternally lost under the sentence of death. This was a hopeless situation as far as we were concerned, for we could do nothing to gain favor or acceptance with God.

However, God in sovereign grace sent His only begotten Son into the world to stand in the gap – an arbitrator between a holy God and sinful man. “We have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you” (1 Jn. 1:2-3). The Lord Jesus, the beloved Son of God, is the One that is declared to be God’s loving answer to our need.

The Love Of God Towards Man 
“Love is of God … God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” —1 John 4:7-9

Love is of God; that is His very nature. His love, shown towards us, flows out from Himself. He is its source, and He has provided the Lord Jesus as the answer for our need. In Proverbs 8:31 we read that He was “rejoicing in His inhabited world, and [His] delight was with the sons of men.”

The wonderful plan of love originated with God. Yet, when the moment came and the Savior was born, the world was asleep and unaware of the heavenly Visitor. God’s time in His plan of love for mankind was not delayed by the world’s inattention, for “when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman” (Gal. 4:4). He was “God … manifested in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16). The Lord of Glory – born in a stable and laid in a manger!

Shepherds on the plains of Judea were the first witnesses to this plan of love. They were awake, watching their flocks at night, when an angel of the Lord came to bring glad tidings of great joy, “for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk. 2:11). These humble shepherds had a most wonderful experience! Suddenly a response sounded forth from a heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (v.14). Yes, “toward men!” This is why the Savior came – to declare God’s love to mankind. Christ, the Son of the Father’s love, is God’s answer to our need, having brought life into this world where death had reigned. ”Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom. 5:20).

We find in 1 John 4:9-10 God’s two-fold purpose in sending His Son. The passage says, “God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” First of all, God’s purpose was to communicate life – divine life through His Son. Secondly, He sent His Son to take up the sin question and to settle it to the satisfaction of a holy and righteous God. This is what it means that He is the “propitiation” for our sins.

The Result Of God’s Love In Our Hearts 
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” —1 John 4:11

This verse is an appeal to our hearts. If God loves us so much, what is our response? We saw the first reply came from a heavenly host and was heard by certain shepherds watching their flocks by night. Now the response is witnessed on earth by those in whom that love flows freely towards each other as they drink at love’s fountain, God’s blessed Son.

John continued by saying, “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (v.13). Paul added, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5).

The wonderful love of God flows down to us and leaves a lasting result within us because God abides in us and His Spirit has been given to us. Jesus is no longer walking here on this earth, for God has raised Him from among the dead and received Him into heaven. Yet we, His followers, are left in this world as the epistle, or letter, of Christ to be read by all men (2 Cor. 3:2-3). The beautiful features of Christ will be seen by those in this dark world as they see these same features lived out in the lives of believers. The love they observe among believers is not natural; it is divine.

God’s Love Is Perfected In Us 
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.” —1 John 4:16-17

The Spirit of God dwelling in the believer bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God (Rom. 8:16). We are told a little further along in that chapter in Romans that nothing can “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv.35,38-39). God brings everything He does to a final and perfect conclusion. His love will not rest until He has dispelled every fear and cancelled every charge the enemy would dare to bring against the believer.

Dear Christian, are there any doubts or fears in your heart? Does the day of judgment raise questions in your mind? Notice that the verse that begins this section states “that we may have boldness in the day of judgment.” On what does this boldness rest? The answer is also given: “Because as He is, so are we in this world.” It is not as He was when here on earth as the sin bearer, but as He is now – the One who is seated and glorified at God’s right hand. The One who bore our sins upon the cross is now seated on the throne in heaven and representing us there. Christ in glory answers every charge that could be brought against a believer, by showing the wounds in His hands and His side – tokens of His wondrous love for us.

May His love fill our hearts and cause us to rejoice as we go on our pathway towards home, where His perfect love will be our theme for all eternity.

The Love Of God: For Us Who Believe

By Milton Jamieson

The love of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of God’s manifold (many and varied) perfections. It is the interweaving of all that God is – His attributes and His very nature. It is the spring and source of all His motives, purposes, words and deeds.

The Old Testament mentions the love of God very few times, while the New Testament is filled with references to it – including the love of the Father, the love of the Son and the love of the Holy Spirit. Yet both testaments are complete in their expressions of the great love of God.

Before God made man, God loved him. In fact, it is the very reason why He made man in the first place. Of all God’s creation, nothing else is made with the capacity for love and fellowship like man. God made him in His very own image and after His very own likeness to enjoy, share and display His love.

An expression of God’s love and care is seen in the way God created the earth with everything that man would ever need for food, delight, medicine (even before man sinned) and much more. God placed man as head and ruler over this planet, which is a manifestation of His great love for man.

Even when man sinned, God did not drive him out of the garden naked or abandon him to a life of sin, death and everlasting destruction. Rather, God made coats of skin for Adam and his wife Eve, clothing them. Moreover, the love of God was further demonstrated when God allowed man, having eaten the forbidden fruit, to die instead of living in that sinful state of pain, sickness and suffering forever and ever. In this it was a blessing that God kept man from the tree of life after he sinned. Not only this, but right away God also announced the Savior and Redeemer when He said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; He shall crush thy head, and thou shalt crush His heel” (Gen. 3:15 JND). This prophecy was fulfilled at Golgotha, where Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer, in love suffered, bled and died in our place.

John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (KJV). Therefore we understand that the love of God is a universal love. God loves every man, woman and child immensely. Who can reach the towering height, sound the unfathomable depth, or embrace the everlasting expanse of His love? With what words shall it be defined? In what balances can it be weighed? It cannot be numbered for it is infinite.

Who can offend God enough so that His love would lose its power? Where is the flood of water that can quench its flame? All the water of the seas and rivers cannot quench the love of God. “Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love; neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned” (Song 8:6-7).

Such is the love of God, and such is His love for us who believe.

Amazing Patience

We wonder at the marvel of the goodness of the Lord, 
His great, amazing patience with the madness of the world; 
For well He knows the evil that impels the hearts of men, 
He knows their thoughts and words and deeds, yet waits to come again. 

Why should He bear with evil haughtily raising its head?Why not rise in righteous wrath to strike His enemies dead?Because He has no pleasure in punishment so severe,Though judge He must, He knows it, and that time is very near.
In love He waits, desiring souls to repent and be saved. 
If so, how great their blessing, beyond all they might have craved! 
Then they may look for Jesus with joyful expectancy, 
Not with the dread of judgment, but the faith of hearts set free. 

For before He comes in judgment, He will come in tender love,To take His blood-bought people to His home in heaven above.Then awesome, dreadful trouble will engulf a world gone mad.Be wise then, trust this Savior, and be forevermore glad.

By Leslie M. Grant (1917-2011)

I Love You

By Paul Alberts

We probably all like to hear “I love you,” especially by someone who we know really means it. In many relationships, though love is present, these particular words are not expressed often enough. Interestingly, some of our favorite Bible verses are the ones that speak of God’s love by using that very word. John 3:16, quite possibly the most known verse in the world, is one example: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV). Maybe there is someone in your life whom you haven’t told you love for quite a while. It could be your spouse, your child, your brother or sister, your parent – or what about the Lord Jesus? Take a moment and tell these special ones that you love them.

The way of the world tells us that nothing anyone does matters as long as there is love: “It is all right to __________ , because of love.” We should never follow what the world tells us for it is under the power of Satan, who works in many ways against God (Eph. 2:2-3). The Bible tells us that love and doing things rightly go hand in hand. Romans 13:8-10 says, “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” It is never right to sin, and using the justification that it is “all right because of love” is entirely wrong! May we be careful to obey God in all that we do, even in the relationships with those we love.

Love is a powerful and persuasive influence. God has only ever used it in a right way – to draw hearts to Himself (Jer. 31:3). How have you responded to His love? The hymn writer, Isaac Watts (1674-1748), wrote, “Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.”

There are many wonderful examples of love shown in Scripture. The greatest of course is found in God, who is love (1 Jn. 4:8,16). We hope you will enjoy His lessons for you in this edition.

To You With Love

By Samuel Rice

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” —John 3:16 NKJV

God’s Choice
God has made a choice! He has chosen to love you as His special object. This love was not forced out of Him. It was His free choice. But what kind of love is it? It is in perfection, without measure or limit!

God’s Object 
Whom does He love? “The world” – every human being that has ever lived or will live. It does not matter who you are or what you have done. Your feelings and circumstances do not matter. He is reaching out to you with His love. He really loves you.

But you may say, “I have rejected God in the past and I have rebelled against His absolute standards. I have refused His love and grace again and again.” Listen! No matter the sin, the evil, the willfulness or the unrighteousness in our lives, God still loves you very much.

God’s Gift 
How can I be sure that He loves me? God gave His Son! The Lord Jesus has always been supremely special to God the Father. Love at its best has been their eternal, mutual delight. But as God looked He could see no such relationship with us; the receiving and returning of His love was not there. God could have accepted the distance and allowed us to suffer the ultimate consequence of our attitude and actions; but no! He chose to send His Son to bring about a happy relationship between God and us.

The Lord Jesus came to reach us, suffer for us and accept complete responsibility for all our sins and sinfulness. On the cross He bore the just consequences for all that was lacking in me. God’s love desired the best for me and was willing to pay its full price, giving all that it could. God gave Himself in the person of His Son, who had become man. The Lord Jesus gave all that He could: He gave His life. God the Father and God the Son held nothing back, showing how much They love us.

Your Choice 
God gave His Son that we might believe His love for us. He chose to reach out to us in the greatest possible expression of love, perfectly demonstrating all that was in His heart. He wants us to accept His love and believe in His Son.

Are you willing to believe that God loves you no matter what? Are you willing to receive His gift of love and allow Him to claim you as His very own, fulfilling all His desires for you? True love always seeks the best for the one it loves. His desire is that you might have everlasting life – life at its very best and eternally enjoyed. However, love leaves it entirely up to the one it loves to accept and return it. God has left the choice to you.

No Choice 
To refuse His love is to refuse the very best that God could offer you. It is to reject His goodness, grace and love, to walk away from His forgiveness to face all the righteous consequences of your sin and sins. It is to choose an eternal distance between yourself and God. It is to perish. In this you would leave God with no choice!

Instead, turn to Him now and tell Him that you accept His love with all that it desires. His love wants you to turn from all that is unlike His mind. This is repentance. His love wants you by faith to accept His eternal fellowship of love. Accept it now! 

We can tell you how.