For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Believers in Christ know and receive the love of God in countless ways. It is written all over the cross, for God so loved the world. Our justification and adoption, His care and provision, and His Divine power granting to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, all demonstrate God’s great love for His children.
Our Father’s love for us has worked itself out in the whole of human history. His grand plan of redemption is an overarching intention, a purposeful proposition, and an overture of kindness orchestrated and made sure by the ruler and maker of the universe, our Abba.
His love is also made evident by myriad expressions of His Grace towards us every day: food to eat, air to breathe, every beat of the heart, a pillow to rest our head on at night. Even the pain and unpleasantness of His discipline later yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness, a gracious rendering of Fatherly love expressed and given, liberally, for our good and His Glory.
Yet, I am convinced that compared to what there is to know, we know nothing of God’s love.
When I reject God’s provision, the very blood of His Son shed for me, attempting to merit my own salvation; it is at this point especially, I know nothing of God’s love.
When I trust in my own strength and fail to appropriate the power of the Holy Spirit in me; I know nothing of God’s love.
When I prefer law over Grace, refusing to extend forgiveness when I have been forgiven so much, I know nothing of God’s love. (How true it is that my sin against God is infinitely greater than any offense anyone could ever commit against me!)
A wider sense of our Heavenly Father’s love for us is humbling. A deeper apprehension of God’s love places us just where we need to be. Inside the Gospel!
And can it be that I should gain
an interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died He for me, who caused His pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?*
God’s love is inextricably linked to the cross. The cross stands at the center of our personal history and is central to the history of all mankind. It is from the vantage point of the cross that the agonies of the Son of God shout their testimony of love, forever securing our redemption and the story of our salvation.
In our quest to gain an understanding of God’s love, we need not go any further than, and dare not stop short of the Gospel of the cross, Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. The glory and reality of the Gospel is deep enough. It is wide enough. And under any circumstance, it is real enough to keep us for all of eternity.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Let the Good News of God’s love be shed abroad in our hearts and grab hold of our minds and change us. May the Lord bring us into an understanding of His love as expressed at Calvary. Let the truth of Golgotha mortify our pride, transforming us into a people who love much, because we have been much loved!
Lord, help us understand.
By His Grace and for the Gospel
Terrie van Baarsel
*And Can It Be That I Should Gain? by Charles Wesley (1707-1788)