Did you ever think God’s love was a difficult concept? It can be. Dr. D.A. Carson’s work, The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, is worth reading and recommending. This little book makes a great addition to your own personal devotional resources as well as a great gift. Just click the picture of the book at the bottom to order your copy.
The following is taken from Carson’s book. It illustrates a great truth. And that is why I offer it as a recommendation to you. I’ve bracketed my comments or pointers. Carson comments on the meaning of I love you…
[Love: In Human Sentimentality!]
[Charles says to Susan:] Susan, I love you. I really do.
…the least he means is something like this…
Susan,you mean everything to me. I can’t live without you. Your smile poleaxes me from fifty yards. Your sparkling good humor, your beautiful eyes, the scent of you hair—everything about you transfixes me. I love you!
What he certainly does not mean is something like this:
Susan, quite frankly you have such a bad case of halitosis it would embarrass a herd of unwashed, garlic-eating elephants. Your nose is so bulbous you belong in the cartoons. Your hair is so greasy it could lubricate and eighteen-wheeler. Your knees are so disjointed you make a camel look elegant. Your personality makes Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan look like wimps. But I love you!
When God says to us, I love you, does He mean something like this…
You mean everything to me. I can’t live without you. Your personality, your witty conversation, your beauty, your smile—everything about you transfixes Me. Heaven would be boring without you. I love you! (?)
[There are folks in churches all across America who think like this: I must be pretty wonderful because God loves me. What would God do without me?]
[Love: An Uncomfortable View]
When He says He loves us, doesn’t He really mean something like this:
You are the people of the halitosis, the bulbous nose, the greasy hair, the disjointed knees, the abominable personality. Your sins have made you disgustingly ugly. But I love you anyway, not because you are attractive, but because it is My nature to love. And in the case of those He has chosen, God says in Romans 8: I have set my affection on you from before the foundation of the universe, not because you are wiser or better or stronger than others but because in grace I chose to love you. You are mine and you will be transformed. Nothing in all creation can separate you from My love mediated through Jesus Christ. [end Carson]
Live today in light of the knowledge that God has chosen you, loved you, and given you hope and purpose. We really can’t explain His divine love. It just is. And we can rejoice in it!