Unexpressed love or hiding your feelings towards someone tends to become a frustration or a future regret. But our God is not like that. He has chosen to reveal and demonstrate his love to his children. As written in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (cf. John 3:16-17).
Christ is God. In First John 4:8-9, God’s love is the incarnated Christ. The embodiment of love is Christ himself. Love and Christ are inseparable, biblically speaking. As John Bunyan said, “Love in him is essential to his being. God is love; Christ is God; therefore Christ is love, love naturally. He may as well cease to be, as cease to love.” Reading Jeremiah 31:3, states, “The LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Moreover, God loved us first (1 Jn 4:19).
This is the extraordinary love of Christ. It knows no bound. Limitless. Overcoming. Ultimately, gracious. Christ’s love for his children is to be prepared to lay down his life for them (John 15:13, Ephesians 5:1-2, and Romans 5). Indeed, Christ’s love pursues and perseveres. His love will always choose to love us whatever happens. His children cannot bend and manipulate God’s love. It never depends on what his children can do for Him. It chooses graciously through His redeeming love, those who have faith in Him are granted upon by his extraordinary love.
Again, what is Christ’s extraordinary love? “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”(1 Jn 4:9-10). All the more, it is everlasting, persevering, and pursuing. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
In his Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund captured the right words; he said, God “loved us in our mess then. He’ll love us in our mess now…. Those in Christ are eternally imprisoned within the tender heart of God.”
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We (learn to ❤️) love because He first loved us. 1John 4:19