Lead Pastor Ben Snyder and guest speaker Pastor Chris Brown shared what is at the center of our relationship with God and others last weekend.
Simply put, God is love, and God loved us first. We need to truly understand and embrace that truth. Because he was willing to rescue us from ourselves and our sin with a love so deeply rooted in sacrifice that he sent his only son to pay the price demanded for our eternal souls.
Before accepting God’s offer of grace and fellowship, I had one motivation: to please myself no matter the cost. I remained a 2-year-old tyrant in a grown-up body … until our first son came along. Enter God’s love. I was willing to sacrifice sleep, fun, time to myself, having a career—everything—to protect and provide for this precious bundle.
First, I endured 40 hours of labor. Then came nursing. I was tethered day and night to the needs of the baby, not my own desires. Miraculously, I was happy to do it all, and more, because of love.
Later, when we moved him into a crib in his own room, I was rocking him to sleep when the depth of God’s love hit me and I prayed, “Lord, if the salvation of humanity were in my hands, we would all be in hell because I would never sacrifice my son to save someone else.” It was then I felt the true depth of these verses:
John 3:16-21 AMP
16 “For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world, that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior] shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge and condemn the world [that is, to initiate the final judgment of the world], but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 Whoever believes and has decided to trust in Him [as personal Savior and Lord] is not judged [for this one, there is no judgment, no rejection, no condemnation]; but the one who does not believe [and has decided to reject Him as personal Savior and Lord] is judged already [that one has been convicted and sentenced], because he has not believed and trusted in the name of the [One and] only begotten Son of God [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind, the One who alone can save him]. 19 This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates the Light, and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. 21 But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him].”
I hope you too will accept God’s love, Jesus’ sacrifice, and the fruit of the Holy Spirit—the greatest of which is love. The life you will live will be priceless.
Do you believe God is the source of true love? If not, why? Have you accepted this most precious gift from him? If not, why?
Check out CedarCreek’s Summer Groups. Find one that will help you understand what God has done for you and how it will change or is changing your life.
If you haven’t been through GrowthTrack, sign up! Get to know the one who loves you best, and learn this truth: “Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you” (James 4:8a AMP).
Continue the conversation about the Fruit of the Spirit as Ben Snyder and others discuss the attribute, joy on the LivingItOut Podcast. This can be found on the CedarCreek App or at LivingItOut.tv.
Dear Lord, please kill the pride and resistance in our hearts that demand we be the god of our own lives. Lives that you have blessed us with because you love us, want fellowship with us, and will allow us to serve you as your own children if we choose to love you back and worship you, the one true God. In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen.
This post was written by Martha Smith, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study. Martha describes herself as a lover of Christ who likes to share faith with others.
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