Wednesday, July 7, 2010

What Does God's Love Look Like?

We've all read the love is the greatest power known to man that will conquer any evil in this world and it's the greatest gift that God gave us.

But do we really stop and consider what that love is worth and what does it look like from God's perspective? If we did, perhaps we would understand when storms come and our prayers seem to go unanswered we automatically blame God. I mean if God loves us so much then Why? You can fill in the circumstance or problem you are dealing with.

Some people see God as a divine vending machine. We think that our praying to God is like putting money into a drink machine. We put our our prayers in and through that prayer we would be making a selection of what we desired or wanted from God. God is then obligated to give us what we wanted. So many Christians have simply given up on prayer and asking for His will to be done in our lives.

Now we spend our prayer lives counseling God and instructing Him on how He should be dealing with us in our lives. But God does not want our advice, He wants our devotion. One of the most valuable things God values from us is trust. He wants us to trust Him with our lives, and it's because He knows what is best for us.

We think we know what love is. We think of roses and romance, long walks on the beach and moonlit strolls. But the world has warped our way of thinking about it. We see people making love, but in reality they are making lust. No one can make love because God was and is the creator of love.

Our society swaps love for lust and then has no comprehension what a loving relationship our action is. Lust is Satan's substitute for God's love. So many Christians have bought into the lie that love is a lustful state of euphoria that is comprised of warm and fuzzy feelings that should never end. Yet the Bibilical view of love is strongly tied up in the area of suffering.

The cross was the most amazing manifestation of God's love that the world has ever seen and ever will see. Many people think they understand the representation of the cross but few really do. Many people think that the suffering the Lord endured to save us was the physical suffering seen in the movies like the Passion of the Christ.

However the physical suffering of Christ was just a drop in the ocean of suffering that Jesus Christ has to pass through to purchase our salvation. The real suffering that saved us was Christ's separation from His Father in heaven and the spiritual torture that He endured during the hours of darkness while He was on the cross, when the wrath of God was being poured out on Him for our sins.

People often wonder how God can know so much about who they are, and it's because while He was on the cross He was made aware of all your sin in an intimate way as He suffered on your behalf.

When we think of Jesus' suffering on the cross we think about the physical suffering and not the spiritual suffeing that took place. He suffered beyond measure for our spiritual sufferings. No one would be capable of enduring that type of pain, except the Son of God. He was the only one with spiritual capabilities needed to fulfill this task and is beyond explanation.

The point I am making is that the cross was not only the greatest act of love that the world has ever seen and will see, but the cross is also the greatest act of suffering as well. God loves you so much that he forsook, renounced and abandoned His own Son so that He would not have to forsake, renounced or abandon us.

Just like the cross was not pleasant for Jesus, our suffering is not pleasant for us. Yet the suffering of Christ on the cross was the most productive and loving thing that has ever been done for the human race. Just like our Master's suffering, our suffering is the most productive and loving thing that will ever happen in our Christian walk (after our salvation).

We need to remember that God allows us to suffer at the expense of our physical lives so we can grow in our spiritual lives. He can not use another means to accomplish this. Jesus came to free us from our sin not necessarily our suffering. He loves us that much that His ultimate goal is our spiritual growth in our lives not freedom from circumstances.


Divine Mrs D said...

Our pastor's Easter sermon was that we can't take the joy of the resurrection without accepting the suffering of the cross - they go together. Thank you for your message today :)

Laurie! said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! Much needed.

Pain to Purpose said...

This was such an excellent post about love and suffering. I can't tell you how many times I have asked God to take this suffering from me over this last year. (um, daily?!) But I know it is for growing purposes and the maturity that comes from it can only be accessed by going through it. I recently heard Joyce Meyer say that Satan's ploy is to get us to doubt God's love and faithfulness toward us. How important it is to renew our minds every day and truly understand that God will never leave us, nor forsake us.

He & Me + 3 said...

Amen to that. I know that first hand. Thanks for sharing.

Saleslady371 said...

A powerful message here, Kat, about Christ's suffering and God's love. I am encouraged.


Denise said...

Amen, so true sis.

LV said...

Another very inspiring message for all of us. God bless you and family.

Andrea said...

Thanks for stopping by arise 2 write, today. I can't believe it is so hot on my side of the world.

I am praying for you guys. Keep me posted.


Beth E. said...

You speak the truth, Kat.

Our family has been through some extremely tough circumstances over the past four years. Circumstances I would never want to go through again. Yet, it was during those terrible times that we pressed in to God and our faith became stronger. We learned to let go and allow Him to totally take control. A very hard lesson to learn, but we are so much better off now by knowing it!

This is a very profound post...thanks for sharing your insight!

Deb said...

You got me on this one, Kat.

He wants me to love Him with my whole heart...all of my devotion...all I've got.

And I keep trying to tell Him how things need to be done.

And when.

Thanks for the re-direction.

Sweet dreams.

Girly Muse said...

So thankful for his love.

Love you!

Warren Baldwin said...

I like your oerspective here. M S Peck calls the process of suffering and even death a "striping away" of what in unessential so we can be ready for what really matters - the growth of our spirit.

LisaShaw said...

I actually read this message before the one above (Thank you Thurs) but had to come back to leave a message...

Did you hear me shouting a hardy AMEN from Fl when I read this:

"But God does not want our advice, He wants our devotion."

That's it in a nutshell!

Loved your message -- powerful!

Love you!