Pastor Sam Crosby
San Saba’s First Baptist Church
February 13, 2018
I play a game with my grandkids in which I ask them a question and then tickle them until I get the right answer. For example, I might pose the question, “Who is the smartest man in the world?” They will name everyone they know while I tickle them until they finally confess, “Papa!” Now, in case you think this is torture, please know that immediately they want me to ask another question! Sometimes I will ask, ‘Who do you love the most in the world?” Eventually they will come to confess, “Papa!” Then they run off saying other names and wanting me to chase them so they will give the “right” answer. Being a granddad is a lot of fun!
The game we play has illustrated that you cannot coerce love. One person cannot force another to love him or her or even say it truthfully. Forced confessions do not carry a lot of weight in court sessions. To love another is a free-will decision. To love another is usually in response to the love you have felt from them. Love reciprocates.
The Bible teaches that God loves the world. In fact, the love of God for the world goes beyond our ability to understand. The human mind cannot grasp the love of God. Paul wrote, “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, NIV). God’s love acted in order that He might save us. His love was not motivated by our worthiness, but by His desire for us to live with Him. His love for us cannot be measured.
To receive God’s love will change the way you see yourself. You are a treasure. It is because of God’s love that He cleanses our sins and makes us His children. John wrote, “Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us that we should be called the children of God” (I John 3:1).
To receive God’s love will stir your love for God. The Bible declares, “We love Him because He first loved us” (I John 4:19). His greatest desire is that we should love Him. He doesn’t force or manipulate our love. He simply poured out His love for us on the cross of Jesus Christ. This great sacrifice of love, when received, stirs in our heart an ever-increasing love for God who would love us this much.
To receive God’s love will help you love others. Again, the Bible teaches, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I John 4:11). We see people differently once we understand how much God loves us and also loves them. Our lives are transformed by His love to us and His love through us.