The Love of God

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

Romans 5:7, 8 “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

How do we know what true love is? Can we know it by watching a bride and groom on their wedding day? Can we recognize it by seeing a mother care for her children? Can we understand it by witnessing a life-long friendship? Unfortunately, marriages break up, mothers make mistakes and friendship sometimes end in hurt. The only way we can really understand true love is by looking at God. God is love and He has demonstrated His perfect love to us.

Historically, we read the story of God’s love for mankind in the Bible. Through the story of Israel, God taught us the concept of love. Through the person of Christ Jesus, God demonstrated the action of love. And through the writings of the apostles, God instructs us to carry on His love in the world.

Today, we experience many demonstrations of love. Compassion, kindness, sympathy, empathy, graciousness, service, understanding, thoughtfulness, concern, mercy, care, affection; these emotions and actions would never be possible without the decision to love. Yet, too often greed, lust, selfishness and pride taint the purity of what God desires.

The Love of God is pure. It is not given because it is earned or deserved. It is not given out of obligation. The Love of God is given freely and simply because the One Who Loves desires to give love away. That is why the nicest person in the world and the most evil person in the world are both offered God’s love.
The Love is God is great. It weights more than we can imagine. It is bigger than we can imagine. And it costs more than we can imagine. That is why the smallest of sin and the most horrific of sin can equally be covered up in God’s love.

Even when one rejects God’s love, God still loves. Even when one refuses to believe in God’s offer of love, God still loves. And even when one denies there is a loving God, God still loves.

Reject it, question it, analyze it, accept it. Whatever your response is to God’s love, the love of God is constant and unconditional, and His offer to love you always stands. This is how we know true love.

Contributed by: Jennifer Mosquera

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Our Response to Bin Laden…

Click here to read Our response to Bin Laden…

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Lent Day 3

LIVING BY THE SPIRIT

Thursday: Romans 8:1-17
Friday: Galatians 5:16-26

The last two days the Lent Reading Schedule has focused on living life by the Spirit. That’s easier said than done, right? The key is realizing we are no longer under condemnation if we are in Christ Jesus – we have been set free. “The law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Since we are sons and daughters of God, His Spirit lives in us. If we live by the Spirit, our lives produce a completely different result. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Life in the Spirit is less about what we don’t do and more about who we are becoming in Christ. As we pray and read the Word today, let’s consider who we are becoming. Is your life reflective of the fruits of the Spirit or something else…

Tamara
(for the full Lent Reading Schedule click the “Lent 2011” tab at the top of the page)

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Lent Reading Schedule

To view the entire Lent Reading Schedule, simply click the “Lent 2011” tab on the top toolbar.

-Gracehill

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Lent – Day One

Today begins the season of Lent, which is the period of fasting leading up to the feast of Easter that recalls Jesus’ 40-day fast in the wilderness.

Today is also Ash Wednesday. Lent is a season of confession and repentance. Confession and repentance is a powerful action for Christians. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Take time for confession…not shallow confession, but rather deep, meaningful confession. This type of confession gives you a deeper appreciation of God’s grace.

Pastor Michael

Today’s Verses:
Luke 4:1-13

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