January 31, 2005
Understanding God's Love and Justice
1 John 4:7-10
The Bible says that God's love is unconditional and that His character is just. For Christ-followers, it is vital to understand both of these attributes of God and to see how perfectly they mesh together. Truly knowing God in His fullness leads to stronger, deeper faith.
Whom does God love? He loves the whole world - there are no exceptions. (John 3:16) The Bible does not say He loves only the deserving or the good; instead, it tells us that He offered us salvation while we were His enemies. (Colossians 1:21-22) Much more than simply an emotion, God's love is an unwavering commitment to what is in our best interest, and it is given unreservedly.
We can be sure God's love is unrestricted because we were its object before our birth and even before the foundation of the world. (Ephesians 1:4-5) Nor is His love limited by anything within us, because He committed to loving us before we were formed. By observing how He cares for the world every day, we have further evidence of His unconditional love (Matthew 5:45b) and our tremendous value in His eyes. (Matthew 6:26) The highest expression of His perfect love is found at the Cross of Jesus Christ. Our loving Father sacrificed His precious Son for you and me, the utterly undeserving.
Before we can reconcile God's love with His judgment, we must first grasp this truth: God loves us unconditionally. His decision to love us has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him. Demonstrate your gratefulness today by obeying God and showing love to others.
On Jan. 2, 2005, Dr. Stanley begins a ten-week series entitled "Landmines in the Pathway of the Believer" that identifies and helps you disarm the spiritual landmines in your life. For more information, including television listings and airtimes, visit www.landminesofthebeliever.com.
For more about this topic and many more, be sure to visit the "Exploring the Bible" section of intouch.org. http://www.intouch.org/myintouch/exploring/index_76118.html