God's Love Is Genuine
"Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren....In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 3:16; 4:9-10)
When a man and a woman get married, they give each other rings. The minister at the wedding usually says something like this to the man: "What token do you give to prove your love?" The man answers, "This ring." The ring that he puts on his wife's finger is a token, or a symbol, to everyone who sees it that this man chose this woman above all others and that he loves her with all of his heart.
As much as a man might love the woman he marries, no man has ever loved a woman as much as God loves His children. No one you know on Earth is able to love you as much as God can. No one has ever proven his love like God has.
We do not have to wonder about whether God is a loving God. John teaches that God's gift of His Son is the token, or the proof, to us that He is the loving God He claims to be. Jesus laid down His life for us. What better proof could there be?
These are facts – real, trustworthy reminders that God is love. His love is not fake; God's love is genuine – the real thing.
When a man and a woman get married, they do not love each other only on their wedding day. They keep on wearing their rings as a symbol that they love each other. And more than wearing rings, they keep on loving each other. Real, genuine love lasts.
Because God is faithful and true, there is no way His love could be fake. There is no way His love could let us down. Because He is infinite and eternal and unchangeable, there is no way that His love could ever be half-hearted, or that it could ever run out, or that it could ever just stop.
That may be why it is so hard to describe or to understand the love God has. Because God is Who He says He is, no human being has ever loved you or ever could love you the way that God can.
God has given us more than rings for our fingers. He has given us His life, His Son, His Word – all to prove His love. Not only that, but He keeps on proving that genuine love, day after day after day.
God has proven beyond any doubt that His love is real, not fake.
» When am I tempted to believe that God's love is not real?
» How should I respond to God's genuine love for me?
» How can I try to share God's genuine love with others?
Truth In Real Life
“Go all out for God, and God will go all out for you.”
There once was a woodpecker who flew to the top of a tall pine tree and began to peck on the bark like woodpeckers often do. A terrible storm moved in. Suddenly, a bolt of lighting struck the pine and sent the entire tree into a pile of splinters. After a moment of stunned silence, the bird said, “Well, well, well! Who would have imagined that just three pecks of my beak could have such power as that!” The bird truly believed that it was his strength – and not the lightning – that had destroyed the tree.
Jonathan Goforth heard the “woodpecker story” early in his ministry and it changed his life. He explained that, as Christians, we are like the bird and God’s power is like the lightning. We cannot take credit for God’s power any more than the bird can take credit for the lightning.
He chose as his personal motto, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6b).
Goforth was born on February 10, 1859, near Ontario, Canada. At a young age, he learned to love reading the Bible. People around him would find him memorizing verses and praying to God. Expected to help with the family farm, he worked a full-time job and attended school at the same time. At age 15, he was put in charge of all the operations of his family’s second farm. His father said simply, “Work hard. At harvest I’ll return and inspect.”
At age 18, Jonathan Goforth fell under great conviction over his sinfulness and need for a Savior. He gave his life to Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, he encountered a biography about the life of Hudson Taylor – a missionary to China – and determined to follow in Taylor’s footsteps.
Jesus Christ is coming back one day. Like Goforth’s father promised to return, so also Jesus Christ has promised to return. Are you working faithfully so that He will be pleased to see how you honored His wishes and carried on His work that He left you to do? Everything we do is able to get done only because of God’s strength. Are you relying on God’s power and grace to help you do what He’s given you to do?
Mark 13:33 – “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is.”