God’s Perfect Love

HAPPY EASTER! As you know by now, I write from the Holy Spirit and the heart of God. It is easy to regurgitate stories from the Bible, especially the Christmas and Easter stories, but I always like to explain the WHY and not necessarily just repeat the same scripture(s) over and over. I do this because reading words does not necessarily mean comprehension, understanding, and/or the Word of God actually getting into your heart where it can change you and change your life. That is always my goal!

As I discussed with God what we would write for Easter this year, He showed me rather than told me. Why would God send His only son to suffer for us when we didn’t even realize the need for such a sacrifice? (John 3:16) One reason is because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19 explains that “we love Him because He loved us first.” It can also be understood that we love Him and each other because He first showed us what true love is. Unfortunately, we seldom freely hand out the unconditional love of God, but certainly, that should be the goal of every person on earth. Can you imagine if we all loved each other, no matter what, the way God loves us? No wars, less sadness, and the light of love and joy permeating from each soul. How beautiful and wonderful that would be…

However, even though God commanded us to love Him and each other, as I stated above, few people are actually able to give that free gift without any strings attached. Often feelings such as anger and fear PREVENTS us from loving as we have been taught and exampled by God. Few humans are able to get outside of their emotional selves and act as God taught us instead of reacting to each person and situation differently. Here is how God taught me what I write today:

I have been visiting my family in Arizona for the past two weeks. At 4:25 AM, Thursday, March 28th, I was standing outside of Christina’s house (my daughter) hugging her goodbye. She started crying and my heart started breaking. I would have done anything to stop her tears and sadness. My maternal emotions flowed through my entire being at lightning speed and the NEED to understand what was wrong so I could fix it and comfort her was overwhelming. I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy, loved, and appreciated in this somewhat cruel world we find ourselves living in, so I did what I could at that moment: I hugged her longer and tighter, whispering words of reassurance into her ear. It was at that very moment I fully understood the love of God.

For God SO LOVED the WORLD (ALL PEOPLE) that He gave His only Son to suffer and take upon His flesh the punishment for our sins so that we would not be separated from God nor He from us. That love is akin to the love that a parent feels for their children. We protect, comfort, and love our children unconditionally even if we dislike some of their behavior. Most of us would die for our children! Do ANYTHING to make their lives better, safer, and happier.

WE are God’s children. Therefore it makes sense He would love us so much that He would die (in the flesh) for us! He will do anything to comfort us in our sorrow, be a trusted friend, and love us in a way others cannot. Like a parent, He DEMANDS RESPECT and the Bible tells children to “respect your parents.” (Ephesians 6:1-3; the 5th of the 10 Commandments and many more verses!). Much of the chaos we experience today is that parents have neglected to demand respect from their children, therefore children have no respect for anything! But, I digress…

In that moment, holding my daughter, I understood why and how God loves all of us. His love is perfect and He loved us first. Because we are made in His image, our hearts are capable of the type of love He commands and teaches, but to actually feel and display that love towards others is a difficult task for most humans. However, loving your children (and grandchildren) is the closest you can feel HOW God feels about, and loves His creation. We are everything to Him, therefore there is no love too great, no forgiveness too big and His mercy and grace are unceasing!

As we celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross; being temporarily separated from God and the agony He willingly suffered because of it (on the cross, Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Matthew 27:46) proves to us how much He loves us! He had never been separated from God before and the pain was unbearable, just as it is for us who have felt God’s constant presence, only to later be separated from Him by our own sin. If you have felt Him near, then feel as though He is distant, you know the pain is unbearable! If we were to be separated from Him for eternity, it would be torture, hence the descriptions of hell.

Why did Jesus do it? Why did He go through hell and to hell for us? (His descent to hell before His ascension is mentioned in Ephesians 4:9 and in 1 Peter) Because it was the only way to permanently reunite God with humankind and allow us the opportunity to live with Him in paradise for eternity. Out of intense and unconditional love, He took our sin upon Himself (three of the 4 Gospels discuss 3 hours of complete darkness over the earth until Jesus gave His Spirit to God and left His incarnate – flesh–body forever) which caused God to see us as dressed in white (clean, not as sinners) instead of the black that covered the world reflecting our sin and how God saw our sin as darkness. After Jesus was crucified as the sacrificial lamb, the blood offering God had required since sin occurred in the garden of Eden, our sin is forgiven as long as we ACCEPT Jesus as our Savior. We need only to repent of our sins, ask Jesus for forgiveness, and then don’t repeat the sinful act(s).

This sermon not only explains WHY Jesus did what He did for us but also how we can accept His free gift to intercede on our behalf to God so that we are seen as “clean/white” instead of the darkness that is created by sin. Had God’s love for us not been so intense and beyond our human comprehension, He wouldn’t have given everything to pay the price of our redemption. As slaves to sin, He paid the price to free us from the enslavement of sin and set us free.

I also ask you to remember how LOVE heals and fixes everything in our lives. As you take communion or talk to Jesus, remember to thank Him for teaching and commanding you to love others as much/more than yourself so that things go well in your lives.

Easter Sunday is one day a year, but the ramifications and lessons learned from this story of sacrifice and redemption from sin live in us forever if we choose to accept God’s gift, which is all about His love and sacrifice, not chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. May God bless you and help you understand how to love better each and every day. Amen! ><> Lisa ><>

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