God is Love
Outline: God shows us His love in a Person, Jesus the Messiah. Jesus gave His life for our sins.
|Theme:||Sacrifice/Atonement; Peace with God; Death of Christ; Love of God; Prophecy, fulfillment of; Cleanse, purify|
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My friends, let us think for a while about the love of God. The Quran calls God the "Loving One." You mention the name of God in your meditations - "Al Wadud." In the Injil God gives us a perfect illustration of His love. Actually it is not so much an illustration as it is a person. That person is Jesus the Messiah. He is the greatest example of God's love.
In the time of Jesus Christ the Jews thought that religious leaders should keep away from public sinners and evildoers. Some people were astonished when they saw Jesus among the despised and sinful people. So the Jewish leaders of that day said Jesus was not a prophet or he would know these people were bad and keep away from them. But Jesus spoke to them, healed their diseases and ate food with them. He was demonstrating that God loves everyone, even those who are sinful. God's love for those who do wrong doesn't mean they should continue to do wrong but that God wants to save them from their sin.
We all have times of trouble, suffering and temptation to do evil. At such times it is easy for us to question God's love and say, "If God loves us, why does He allow this to happen?" Through Jesus the Messiah we have learned to trust in God's love no matter what happens. The mighty God, Creator of the universe, cares for us. He loves us far more than an earthly father. Jesus brought peace, healing, and forgiveness. He showed men the way to God.
The religious leaders were angry because Jesus showed that love was more important than their ritual laws. They did not like having their sins revealed, so they plotted against Jesus to kill Him. Jesus saw His death as fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah who spoke centuries earlier about the suffering and death of the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah foretold that He would suffer and be killed. Because of His love for men and obedience to God He determined that He would give His life as a sacrifice for the sin of man. He said, "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again. This command I received from My Father."
There must have been a great purpose for the Messiah to have determined to give His life. The purpose of Jesus' death on the cross was to bear the pain of death for our sins and disobedience. We have all done bad things. In this way He bore the punishment that we deserved, all of us, even you. If you refuse your sin and turn to Jesus the Messiah, He will cleanse you and forgive you. Jesus the Messiah is the only way back to God. You must feel sorrow for your sins. You must talk to God from your hearts and ask Him for forgiveness for your wickedness. You must accept the sacrifice Jesus made on your behalf. Then we can receive peace with God. We can receive His love into our hearts. God is truly a God of love.
Ref: John 10: 17, 18