Love

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Love.

Nothing brings so much joy, hope, peace, or emotional healing than love.  In fact, nothing except love can really bring any of these things.

But God demonstrates his own love . .

God can demonstrate anything He wants, in fitting with His nature (He is good).  He can demonstrate His justice to us.  He can demonstrate His righteous anger to us.  He can demonstrate His wrath to us.  He can demonstrate these things, and He does.  But isn’t it incredible that this is not all He demonstrates to us?  No, He chooses to demonstrate–as His masterpiece–His love for us.

God’s heart is for the wicked to turn to Him and for mankind to be saved.  And because of His heart, He demonstrates His love to us.

If you want to know what love is, read 1 Corinthians 13.  There you see what God has demonstrated towards us.  It is the perfect summary of Christ on the cross.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

 

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Published in: on June 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Own

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Own.

When you truly own something, it belongs to you.  It’s yours to keep, sell, or give away as you wish.  No one else has a right to it.

God owns love.  It is totally His.  Yet He has given it freely time and time again, to the culminating moment in history where He gave us Love Himself–Jesus Christ.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Published in: on June 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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His

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

His.

God doesn’t have to borrow love from someone else.  The love He has for us . . comes purely from Him.  Not from warm fuzzy feelings about us, but from His very nature.  He loves us because of who He is, not because of what we can offer Him.

Sometimes I think we get the impression that God needs us or that He somehow benefits from helping us.  The reality?  God could have destroyed us all, created a billion obedient beings to worship Him, and moved on.  Our glorifying Him is to our benefit–not to His.  He is already fulfilled and complete.  We desperately need Him, but He has no need for us.  Yet He treats us with the most exquisite love, which we often misinterpret as meaning He must get some use out of us!

Within God is an incomprehensible well of love.  The well is dug deeper than we can ever reach, even if we live with Him for all eternity.  It’s a well driven into the very heart of God, and from His heart we drink the promise of a love too perfect for us to understand, and too wonderful for us to ever delight enough in.  It’s His love.  His own.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

 

 

 

Published in: on May 21, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Demonstrates

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Demonstrates.

It’s such a movement word.

You can demonstrate something terrible or something delightful, but you can’t demonstrate standing still.

Right away, we know we have an active God.  There is no passive God in the Christian faith, but one of passion.

What does God demonstrate?

But God demonstrates his own love for us . .

God demonstrates love.

1 John 4:16b teaches us,

“God is love.”

What God demonstrates is naturally what He is.  He doesn’t have to pretend to love.  He doesn’t have to manufacture love.  He certainly doesn’t have to force Himself to love.  Since He is love, He simply demonstrates love.

As water seeps out of an overflowing river, God’s love seeps out of His overflowing nature.

I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten the chance to see street performers or not (usually in big cities), but they give a whole new class to performances.  It’s one thing to see someone up on a stage with makeup and lights and surround sound doing something amazing; it’s something else altogether to see someone at eye-level in street clothes on a sidewalk performing a talent.

When God first demonstrated His love in Christ, do you know how He did it?  Not with the awesome splendor and trembling wonder that the Second Coming will have . . but with the birth of a little baby in a crowded city.  He demonstrated His love in a manger.

And what did Jesus do in His time on earth?  He walked with sandaled feet around a countryside and through towns, teaching ordinary and even despised people to turn their hearts to God.  He healed the isolated and the disgusting.  He chose for His close friends a group of men doing regular jobs.  There wasn’t one CEO in the mix.

And then there was His death–murdered on a cross.  He could have chosen a way to die that no one had ever died, but instead He chose a way that many criminals in that time commonly died.  Why?

God demonstrates.

At eye level.  Where we can all see Him.  In fact, Jesus said in John 8:28 about His death,

“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”

The cross identified Jesus as God.  Only God, only God would be willing to come and demonstrate His love for us dressed in street clothes, without props and fanfare.  He didn’t come to show off.  He came to demonstrate.  To demonstrate the love that overflows from Him.

That we might be saved by the demonstration.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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God

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

I don’t know if you remember diagramming sentences in school, but, if you had to diagram this sentence, who is the one doing the action?

God.

But God demonstrates . .

What does God do?  Demonstrate.

Who demonstrates?  God.

Take it to the bank: this verse is about God.  Yahweh.  The Great I-Am.  Lion of Judah.  Mighty Creator.  Jehovah Jireh.  The One Before All.  The Alpha and Omega.  The Author and Finisher of our faith.

We are not the ones doing the action in this verse.

Oh, we’re in this verse, but we don’t get into the sentence diagramming for a while.  Diagramming 101 gives you two actions with one actor:

God demonstrates

Christ died

God.  And then One of the Three in the Trinity: the Son Christ.

This verse is all about what God does.

It does NOT read like this,

But we demonstrate our love for God when we do ______, ______, and ______ & earn our salvation.

It reads like this,

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Who is the one demonstrating love?

God.

Who are the ones totally incapable of helping, still sinners?

Us.

Romans 5:8 is a promise from God to us, not from us to God.  We can’t earn our salvation.  We can’t earn God’s love.  And thank God!!!!!!!!!! we don’t have to try.

God is the one acting.

And God is ready to act in your life, no matter who you are.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

 

Published in: on May 18, 2014 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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But

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

It’s only a 3-letter conjunction, yet it can change the entire meaning of a passage.

But.

In context:

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

The word but turns the former verse from despair to bliss.

If Satan whispers in your ear, “No one would die for you.  You’re not worth it.  A good person, maybe, but you?”–remember this word:

But.

It’s true that, in the way of the world, there’s no hope for sinners.  People don’t step up to take the electric chair for murderers, or the firing squad for betrayers, or even time in prison for embezzlers.  People don’t read the newspaper and watch the news so they can find a criminal to trade places with, as in: I’ll take your punishment and you take my freedom. 

We just don’t do that kind of thing.  We might stand up for people we love, or the innocent (we might), but for someone who is totally evil, through-and-through?  Never.

Yet to God (who sees things as they really are), we are all evil, through-and-through.  And here is where that essential, life-changing conjunction comes into fruition:

But.

God is not like us.

We wouldn’t die for the wretches . . but God would.

We wouldn’t give the most heinous criminals our freedom . . but God did.

We wouldn’t sacrifice our joy to take a villain’s sorrow . . but God has.

But.

It’s the start of a very beautiful promise.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, NIV)

Published in: on May 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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