1 John 4:19 tells us that “We love, because [God] first loved us.” There would be no hope for us had He not shown us how to love. But do we really understand God’s love for us? The God who created the Earth, who was there when the stars were formed, and who speaks and the waves obey, chose to show His love for us feeble humans. Not only that, but “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). We have offended God repeatedly, but even then He loved us, enough to suffer a death too awful for us to imagine.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—The saints’ and angels’ song.
If we understood God’s love for us, we would be compelled to obey His law without hesitation. The Psalmist says “give me understanding, that I may observe Your law and keep it with all my heart” (Psalm 119:34). Yet we don’t know God’s love in its fullness because of our tainted view caused by our sin. As a result, we are tempted to believe that a better love can be found elsewhere and we are enticed to sin and disobedience.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;
Prone to leave the God I love:
Take my heart, oh, take and seal it
With Thy Spirit from above.
Rescued thus from sin and danger,
Purchased by the Savior’s blood,
May I walk on earth a stranger,
As a son and heir of God.
As we look around us at the leaves on the trees, at the butterflies flying by, at the streams flowing with water, we can be assured that God loves us. As we see how rotten our nature, our unloving behavior, our continual failures, and remember that Christ saw those things, said “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing,” and chose to die in our place, we can be assured that God loves us.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
As we gather together, let us remember and be assured that God loves us and let that love compel us to love each other and obey His every Word.